Alleged shoplifter accused of trying to run over store employee

HOUSTON - An alleged shoplifter is accused of trying to run over a store employee who confronted her.

Court documents state on Sept. 15, 21-year-old Porsha Lashae Branch went into Fallas Paredes store off the East Freeway in Jacinto City where a loss prevention officer spotted says he observed her concealing merchandise inside her purse.

The officer followed her outside the store and took her purse from her. He says he asked Branch to go back into the store to return the merchandise.

"She got crazy," said Blanca Flores, who works in the same shopping center. "Right there behind the pole, he was being pinned. I mean if he would have moved or anything, he would've been run over. I would never want nobody to go through what he went through."

Flores said several shoppers mistakenly thought the officer was the criminal, so they restrained him instead of Branch.
"Bystanders grabbed him from the neck, [asking] him why was he doing that to the lady," said Flores.

According to Flores, with the officer unable to move and defend himself, Branch walked over and started hitting him. Flores said it wasn't until police arrived and Branch drove away that everyone else realized who was actually at fault.

Investigators say Branch got upset and tried to run over the officer with her vehicle, even driving onto a walkway. Branch then allegedly got out of the vehicle and began assaulting the officer in an unsuccessful attempt to retriever her purse. She then fled the scene.

Branch is charged with robbery.

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