Thomaston woman charged with punching driver, fleeing with purse

Ashley S. Matthews. Photo/Fayette County Jail.
Ashley S. Matthews. Photo/Fayette County Jail.

A Thomaston woman is in custody after a Nov. 4 incident during which she struck the driver of the vehicle she was in and grabbed the driver’s purse before fleeing, police said. Fayette County deputies located the woman and held her for Fayetteville officers.

Ashley S. Matthews, 28, was charged with robbery and battery-family violence, according to Fayette County Jail records.

Fayetteville Police Department spokesperson Ann Marie Burdett said officers on Nov. 4 at approximately 8:31 p.m. were dispatched to the Kroger store on Ga. Highway 85 North in reference to a robbery.

Burdett said police met with Fayette County deputies, who had a female subject detained in the area of Banks Crossing, and matching the description of the robbery suspect. The suspect was later identified as Ashley Matthews.

Fayetteville officers met with the complainant, who reported that she decided to bring Matthews along for the ride as she made food deliveries for work.

“An alleged argument ensued between the parties over text messages the suspect observed on the complainant’s phone concerning their relationship,” Burdett said. “The complainant reported she was struck in the mouth by the suspect with a closed fist; the suspect then took the complainant’s purse and then exited the truck running away in the direction of Goodyear Tire.”

Burdett said deputies reported observing the suspect return to the docking area behind Kroger, drop the handbag on the ground while tossing other contents from the bag into nearby bushes as she walked away. It was at that time that deputies surrounded Matthews.

The complainant received an injury to her lip but refused medical attention. The complainant’s injuries were photographed and documented along with the complainant’s driver’s license and credit cards. The complainant reported that U.S. currency that was in her wallet was now missing, said Burdett.

Burdett said the complainant was asked if she wanted to press charges and she replied, “Yes.”