A potentially life-threatening situation unfolded in Hackensack, New Jersey, Monday, when a perpetrator allegedly held a woman at knifepoint and attempted to rob her in broad daylight.
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The scary situation, occurring around 3 p.m., was immediately remedied when a heroic observer saw what was happening and jumped in to save the 52-year-old victim’s life.
The harrowing ordeal began when the woman was walking down the street; a man grabbed her and put a knife to her neck. The assailant then made her walk two blocks to allegedly steal from her home.
“The (man) held a kitchen knife to the victim’s waist with one hand and had his other hand on her body and forcibly made her walk with him about two blocks in an attempt to get her into a home,” Hackensack Police Capt. Michael Antista said in a statement.
But as the scenario progressed, a local man named Willy Ortiz, Jr., saw what was happening and reportedly heard the victim scream.
“I saw a kitchen knife on her neck, right on her neck. He was just walking and guiding her, and you could see she was frightened,” Ortiz told WABC-TV. “I ran up to them, and I was like, ‘Hey, are you OK? Is everything alright?’ And she goes, ‘No, help me, help me.'”
That’s when the perpetrator pushed the woman away, and Ortiz pulled out a box cutter, causing the criminal to flee.
Another neighbor, realizing what was happening, hopped in his car and chased down the suspect. That individual cornered the perpetrator until police arrived.
Hackensack Police Sgt. Sean Briggs said the two men were instrumental in helping capture the purported culprit and protect the woman.
“We can’t stress how much the two Samaritans who saw and called 911, how much they definitely helped in getting this predator off the street,” Briggs told WABC-TV.
The accused, 20-year-old Esben Sarabe, was subsequently charged with armed robbery and kidnapping, among other alleged crimes.
With crime spiking in cities and towns across the U.S., this is only the latest example of regular citizens jumping in to stop perpetrators.
CBN’s Faithwire covered a separate incident earlier this month, when a good Samaritan in Hollywood, California, saved the day after a homeless man allegedly sucker-punched and robbed an elderly man.
Thankfully, these brave heroes are helping protect vulnerable people in potentially dangerous or deadly situations.
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