Monterey County

Witnesses of robbery take down fleeing teen in Salinas

Woman gets attacked in East Salinas, suspect gets taken down by witnesses

SALINAS, Calif. - In the heart of an East Salinas shopping plaza, an unexpected attack on a woman who was closing up a kiosk for the day.

"I heard a scream. At first I didn't know if it was kids playing around," said Mark Cheong, a store owner.

Cheong's shop is right next to the kiosk. Police say a 15-year-old armed with a 12-inch buck knife was waiting for the woman to close up. He intended to steal her purse, and witnesses say he punched her several times before taking off with her purse.

"I actually went out of my store and I saw the lady. She was crying," said Cheong.

Don't chalk this up as another unsolved robbery in Salinas just yet. Across the street, Francisco Lopez heard some commotion.

"I saw that they were chasing a guy that assaulted a woman across the street from my business," said Lopez.

Video Lopez took on his phone shows a man sitting on top of the teenager, with a group of other men surrounding the teen.

Lopez said the group of men followed the teen across the busy street and corned him. Witnesses tell Central Coast News the group told the robber he wasn't getting away. The teen eventually surrendered.

"I think it's a very commendable act. I think people in Salinas are getting frustrated with violence and robberies and things like that and they took an opportunity to capture this guy and the ending worked out really well," said Cmdr. Sheldon Bryan, Salinas Police.

"That happens here too much. It's admirable that the same community of our Hispanic people are doing something to not let the bad guys do bad," said Lopez.

Salinas police do not recommend that anyone take matters into their own hands like this, but is happy this ended well.

The victim's co-workers tell Central Coast News the woman did go to the hospital but was released and is recovering.

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