A group of New Yorkers took matters into their own hands by stopping and restraining a mugger who robbed a woman in broad daylight.
The incident occurred in Midtown Wednesday and was captured on video (video below). Authorities say Theodore Shearin, 37, mugged Jaime Cowgur, 36, and tugged her halfway down a city street, DNAInfo reported.
Shearin then attempted to run away, but he was stopped by a group of passers-by who tackled him to the ground and made their own citizen’s arrest.
“I heard screaming and saw a woman with a bloodied lip,” Deon Frank told the New York Post. “All her stuff was on the ground. He reached down and grabbed some of her cash and start running away, so I chased him and he tried to attack me so I put him in a position so he couldn’t get me and I called for help.”
But Frank was not the only one who sprung into action.
“People came over,” Frank said. “One guy grabbed his arm to stop him from swinging. Another guy grabbed his leg. People were trying to hit him but I stopped them so he wouldn’t get hurt.”
Online editor Jackson Bryant witnessed the courageous act by the group of New Yorkers and captured it on cell phone video.
“While leaving work today, I had the great fortune of witnessing firsthand why New Yorkers are so f--king awesome,” Bryant wrote on his web site Coed.com. “A woman was being mugged in broad daylight on 35th street in Midtown Manhattan, and without a second thought, 10 to 12 citizens tackled this huge thug and took him to the ground.
“Just as many came to the aid of the victim and helped gather her belonging (sic) that were spread all across street in rush hour traffic. It wasn’t a black thing or a white thing, it was just good people doing the right thing. Way to go New York!”
In the video, Shearin is seen restrained on the ground by Frank. One pedestrian is heard asking for someone to get a police officer while Frank tells Shearin to give the woman her money back.
Another pedestrian can be heard asking Cowgur if she would like to press charges. She says, “Yes, he’s an a--hole!”
“In the video, they're ripping money out of his hand,” Bryant told CBS New York. “They had her money in his hand, and they ripped the money out and they give it back to her. And she's bawling.
“I mean, she was really shaken up, and she had a bloody lip, and she had a scraped up leg.”
The mugger managed to get away, but he was arrested shortly after by MTA police just two blocks away, the Gothamist reported.
Cowgur, who was visiting from Phoenix, Arizona with her two children, said the incident has not changed the way she feels about New York.
“So many people came to my aid,” she told DNAInfo. “Civilians who I don't know, police officers, men and women who came over asking if I was all right.
“It was pretty amazing. People were so warm. I still love New York. It's a great place.”
Shearin, who already had an extensive criminal history, has been charged with robbery, criminal possession of stolen property and drug possession. Officials say Shearin had a bag of PCP on him when he was taken into custody.