NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Two good Samaritans are being called heroes after chasing and tackling a suspected iPhone thief in lower Manhattan on Thursday.
Brian Hester and Chase Bunn were outside smoking cigarettes on Church Street around 11:30 a.m. when a man allegedly snatched an iPhone out of a woman’s hand.
The woman began to chase the suspect herself before Hester and Bunn dropped their cigarettes and jumped into action.
“She starts off after him on foot,” Hester told 1010 WINS. “I got eight sisters, I was like, ‘No, no, no.’ I jumped in and started following him too.”
Bunn was close to catching the suspect but lost him after hurting his knee during the chase, Hester said.
Once the crime-fighting duo caught up to the suspect, Hester said a crowd of angry bystanders had gathered around.
“When he was first tackled, the crowd was beating him and kicking him and I got them to stop,” Hester said.
But the suspect managed to slip away.
“We chased him another block and brought him back down,” Hester said. “The police were already on their way, fortunately, for the suspect because the crowd started having at him again.”
Hester held the suspect until police arrived and arrested 26-year-old Noah Udell on charges of robbery and assault, 1010 WINS reported.
“The woman was very appreciative,” Hester said. “She was really glad that she got her phone back because it had a lot of pictures that she couldn’t replace of her 3-year-old.”
Hester doesn’t consider himself a hero, saying the incident was more about a group of New Yorkers who banded together to be heroes.
“This was just instinct, it wasn’t anything heroic on my part,” Hester said, adding that he feels like a hero for the volunteer work he does. “I think the heroics were provided by a large group of New Yorkers who all came together to do the right thing.”
After the incident, the woman told Hester she would never take her iPhone out in public again.
“We’re New York City, we’re not having that,” Hester said. “You should feel safe taking your iPhone out and using it in public. You shouldn’t live in fear.”
Hester said all you need is to use your street smarts.