A 19-year-old female University of Delaware student is on the mend, following a terrifying robbery attempt early Sunday morning.
And thanks to a handful of brave witnesses, the student, who suffered scratches and cuts to her face, left hand and legs, got her wallet back.
Newark Police say the student, whose identity has not been released, left a town home in the 100 block of North College Avenue at 2:07 a.m. alone, when she was attacked.
The victim says the suspect grabbed her from behind, covered her mouth and pulled her to the ground.
NPD says the victim was holding her cell phone at the time and tried to call 911, but Sanchez-Zarate knocked the phone out of her hand, grabbed her wallet and ran onto North Street.
According to police, the victim chased Sanchez-Zarate, shouting at him to stop and drop the wallet.
One witness, who heard the victim’s cries, also gave chase; then three other witnesses inside a car pulled up in front of the suspect, while two male passengers inside the vehicle got out and detained the suspect until police arrived.
“While this incident had a positive outcome, we don’t encourage well-meaning witnesses to take such active measures as they, themselves, could potentially become the victims of crime,” said Lt. Mark Farrall with NPD.
But Farrall says witnesses can still be Good Samaritans, without putting themselves in harm’s way.
“The Newark Police Department encourages people to be good witnesses. Most individuals now carry cell phones and we encourage anyone observing criminal activity to immediately call 911 and provide as much detailed information as possible.”