HIALEAH, Fla. (WSVN) – A teen is speaking out after a robber snatched his phone out of his hands and an accomplice tried to run him down.
The 16-year-old was texting on his phone as he walked home on Oct. 6 around 7:15 p.m. in the area of west 34th Lane and west 76th Street. That’s when one of the suspects ran up behind him and snatched his phone out of his hand.
“Somebody ran up behind me and just snatched it from my hand,” the victim said. “When he crossed the street, I looked to my left and there was a car there.”
A home surveillance caught the scene as the teen ran after the crook to get his cellphone back. The robber’s accomplice, who was driving a getaway vehicle, accelerated toward the victim and struck him.
“Knocked him to the ground, almost runs over his head,” said Hialeah Police Sgt. Carl Zogby. “Thank God he didn’t.”
The ordeal doesn’t end there. The 16-year-old then got back up and when he realized the thief couldn’t get back into the car, he tried to get his belongings back again.
“The driver pulled up next to me, opened his door and threatened that if I were to keep on fighting that they would beat me up,” the victim said.
Hialeah Police later identified and arrested the robber as as 20-year-old Alejandro Mustafa and the driver as 18-year-old Zabdi Gil.
They were charged with robbery and aggravated battery using a deadly weapon.
“An act of desperation is very common,” Zogby said, “cellphone thefts are very common. It’s happening all around the country. The thieves are snatching it out of the victim’s hands.”
The victim’s mother, Susie, said this is a lesson the younger generation needs to learn. “Another message to the other young kids, if something like this was to happen to you, don’t chase them, don’t fight, just give it up,” she said. “Us as parents, we just want you guys to be safe.”
The victim said he only feels some pain in his elbow but is otherwise OK.
He said he knows that it could have been worse. “At the time, I wasn’t thinking about any weapons, but after it happened, I was pretty glad I wasn’t hurt,” he said. “Anything could have happened really.”
Police were able to identify the two suspects with the help of the school police. Officials said the suspects confessed to the crime.
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