03/20/2007

Calif. man snatches purse with gun from off-duty officer, tries to shoot her

By Demian Bulwa
San Francisco Chronicle

HAYWARD  -- A 38-year-old convicted robber stole an off-duty Hayward police officer's purse and tried to shoot her with a gun he found inside it, police said.

The officer, Michelle Winters, was on her way to work at 7 a.m. Saturday in civilian clothes, when she stopped to buy something at a store near Jackson and Watkins streets. As she got back into her car, police said, she was surprised by Richard Sessions, a 6-foot-2, 235-pound Hayward resident who recently completed a parole term.

Sessions pushed Winters further into the car, snatched her purse and ran, police said.

Winters chased Sessions and confronted him. He pulled a handgun from her purse, pointed it at her and repeatedly squeezed the trigger, Hayward police said. The weapon, however, was not loaded.

Sessions punched and kicked the officer before fleeing, police said.

Winters reported the attack and officers flooded the area. Police said they spotted Sessions two blocks away, on Silva Avenue. He was jailed on suspicion of several felonies, including attempted murder.

Winters was treated at a local hospital and released later Saturday, police said.

Copyright 2007 San Francisco Chronicle

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