SPRING LAKE, N.C. (WTVD) -- Brandy Lucas thought she was doing everything right.
With her 6-week-old girl in tow, the mom of three decided "the earlier the better" for the baby's first trip to Walmart. They went around 10 a.m. Tuesday, parked just a few spots from the entrance, and ran into the store for the essentials -- formula, diapers and wipes.
None of that prevented the attempted robbery and assault that took place when she came out.
"My biggest thing was my child's safety," Lucas said, recounting the attack. "I always kept myself in the middle of her and the baby."
When Lucas began putting her bags in the back of her SUV, she said she was approached by Angelica Davis. Davis, 31, said she needed help.
"She was like 'In the name of Jesus, can you please help me, please?'" Lucas remembered. "I was like 'I don't have any cash. Sorry.' And so she started to walk around, two cars over."
But Davis would circle around and approach Lucas again, just as the Harnett County woman was about to lock her infant's car seat into the base in the rear passenger seat. Lucas told Davis to go away. Davis told her she was trying to pass her door, a near impossible maneuver since Lucas's back passenger door was wide open, and another SUV was parked next to them.
That's when Lucas said Davis went for her shoulder bag.
"She was able to slam the door on us like this," she demonstrated. "She tried to grab my bag and take off and she ended up getting through [the space between Lucas's car door and the parked car]."
"All I had was a scratch on my neck from where she grabbed my bag."
Lucas said she'd been yelling for help as she and Davis struggled. Davis broke away from her. Two people witnessed the struggle in the parking lot, and that's what scared Davis away, she said. Davis denied trying to rob Lucas as she took off.
Lucas was able to get back inside the Walmart and call for help. Within minutes, police and a deputy arrived, and Davis, identifiable by a bright orange pullover, was caught across the street at the Murphy's Express.
The entire ordeal was caught on parking lot surveillance, and Lucas said she worked with Walmart Loss and Prevention specialists, as well as local authorities.
Davis remains in the Cumberland County jail under a $600,000 bond for multiple charges tied to the incident. She is no stranger to area shoppers, employees and local authorities. Davis has been arrested dozens of times for panhandling and trespassing, but she had never faced serious charges, like assault, prior to Tuesday. One authority on the case said the circumstances were surprising because she's never tried to hurt anyone before. A nearby store employee said she is homeless and is a mainstay in the Spring Lake Walmart parking lot.
While it seems little could have been done to prevent Lucas's attack, local authorities do suggest a few ways to remain vigilant while shopping.
Small bags that can be strapped across your body and held close are recommended. Similar to Lucas, shop during daylight hours, and park close to store entrances. Also, if you want to give someone money, make sure you don't have to dig for it.
Lucas said the only thing she may have done differently was carry a weapon for protection, but even then, she would have had difficulty getting to it with her baby in hand.
She chose to fight.
"It could have been so much more dangerous," Lucas said. "She could have had a gun. She could have had a knife. I mean I could have been really hurt."
"The fact that she's still willing to approach somebody with such a small child is what scares me to death."
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Mother attacked in Spring Lake Walmart parking lot while carrying newborn