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HILLSVILLE — A 33-year-old Cana man allegedly demanded a ride from a Pizza Hut patron on Labor Day and, when she refused, police say he tried to steal her purse.
The unidentified victim resisted and got assistance to turn her alleged assailant, Daniel Eric Brame, over to Hillsville police officers, according to Chief Greg Bolen.
The incident occurred at about 10 p.m. on Sept. 2, when Brame allegedly approached the victim and asked her to drive him somewhere.
“He didn’t say where,” Bolen said. “He just said he needed a ride.”
The woman told the man no, but Brame climbed into the vehicle anyway. She told the man to get out, but he didn’t listen, according to the report.
“She drove to the Pizza Hut drive-through and told the workers to call the police,” the chief said.
Brame then allegedly grabbed the purse, jumped out and started heading south on Main Street.
First Sgt. Robby Martin and officers Josh Edwards, Billy Anauo and James Dalton — who were already responding to the call — caught up with him there. Bolen said witnesses identified Brame as the man who jumped in the vehicle.
“At one point, he had his hand in his shirt and threatened he was going to shoot her if she didn’t give him her purse,” the chief said.
Officers changed Brame with attempted robbery and attempted use of a firearm in a felony after their investigation.
Apart from that incident, Bolen reported that Labor Day weekend remained relatively quiet, considering the thousands of visitors in town for the flea market.
Officers made a few drunk-in-public charges, and only received four theft reports.
Investigator Alan Gravley and Brandon Edwards of the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office came across a vendor trying to sell a moonshine still.
The matter was turned over to a Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control agent.
Bolen attributed the good holiday weekend to the response plans made with emergency services and the cooperation between town police, the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, emergency medical response agencies, 911 dispatchers located in the Galax Police Department command post on U.S. 58 and the Virginia Department of Transportation.
“If it wasn’t for them, it wouldn’t have run as smoothly as it did,” Bolen said.