Victim of vehicle burglary assaulted by crook

Posted: Updated:
Patrick Flippen By Jennifer Thomas Patrick Flippen By Jennifer Thomas

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Goodyear police officers arrested a man who allegedly broke into a truck and stole a woman's purse then assaulted her Thursday morning.

A 33-year-old Litchfield Park woman was setting up a massage information booth at the Palm Valley Golf Club near McDowell and Litchfield roads at approximately 9 a.m.

The woman had unloaded some items from her car and was returning for more when she noticed that her car window was shattered and her purse was missing, according to Cmdr. Ralph McLaughlin with the Goodyear Police Department.

The woman saw a man, later identified as Patrick Flippen, 48, sitting in a pickup truck nearby. McLaughlin said the woman approached Flippen and was asking if he saw who broke into her car when she noticed her stolen purse on the floorboard of the truck.

Flippen reportedly got out of his truck and started to assault the victim, eventually knocking her over a planter. As others came to help the victim, Flippen fled the area on foot.

Officers set up an area perimeter and a nearby private elementary school, Montessori in the Park, went into lockdown during the search.

While information was broadcast about the suspect's vehicle, one of the officers recognized the name of the owner. The officer apparently knew the suspect and phoned him on the cell number he had.

McLaughlin said the officer convinced Flippen to turn himself in and he was taken into custody after agreeing to meet with the officer.

Flippen was booked into MCSO jail on burglary and assault charges.

The victim suffered minor abrasions.