Officers Adrian Navarro and Erik Escalante came across a 56-year-old woman about 7 p.m. in the 500 block of South Dearborn Street running after a 16-year-old boy, while yelling, “Help, help, he stole my phone,” police said.
The police officers chased the suspect on their bikes and then on foot. They caught up to him about a half a block away. The victim identified the suspect and her iPhone. She had been walking down the sidewalk carrying her phone in her hand talking to a friend when the suspect came up from behind and grabbed the phone from her after striking her on the arm.
If anyone has been paying attention to the numerous articles that have been written lately about the increase in robberies on the CTA, you would know that having your iPod or cell phone out where anyone can just grab it and run is not a good idea.
It seems as though almost everyone does it, not only on the CTA, but on the streets as well.
Even though the victim was caught off guard when the assailant attacked her from behind, she recovered quickly and ran after him.
Is chasing your assailant a safe thing to do?
1) If it was a strong armed robbery like this one, then chasing after the suspect while yelling for help at the top of your lungs probably isn’t going to hurt you. The question is, “what do you do if you catch them?” Are you physically capable of fighting with them without getting hurt yourself? A visit to the emergency room will probably cost a lot more than buying a new phone or iPod.
2) If it was an armed robbery using a knife then chasing after them may not be one of the best things to do. You could pursue them at a safe distance and hope that someone with a phone calls police or that law-enforcement is nearby and responds to your calls for help; if not, you don’t have a lot of options.
3) If they showed you a gun during the robbery then the only running you should do is in the opposite direction.
You can avoid putting yourself in these types of situations by paying more attention to your surroundings, especially if you are talking on your cell phone or listening to your iPod.
If you are robbed and choose to pursue your assailant then do what this woman did. She chased the guy while yelling out for help and describing exactly what the problem was. This type of request for help tells police and potential witnesses what is happening and will allow them to take quick action.