CLEVELAND - A 58-year-old suspect may be wishing he didn't rob a 67-year-old disabled woman. Not only did that woman fight back, but a few good Samaritans came to her aid, tackling the suspect.
Cleveland Police said the incident happened last Tuesday at around 6 p.m., just outside of the Kappa House entrance on Shaker Boulevard. The victim, 67-year-old Anna Lefort, told NewsChannel 5 she suffers from cancer and is disabled. She uses a wheelchair and scooter to get around.
Last Tuesday, Lefort said she was on that scooter returning from Dave's Supermarket, when she felt a man reach into her pocket.
Lefort said she had $100 cash in her pocket from a check she had just cashed at the supermarket. The 67-year-old said she then struggled with the suspect has he continued to rob her, but then, according the police report, the suspect struck Lefort in the head.
"I had never been through anything like that ... I got mad when the man hit me in the head because I didn't deserve it," said Lefort.
Not allowing the suspect to get away without a fight, she used her scooter and chased the suspect as best she could, screaming for help to anyone who'd listen.
"I put this thing in reverse and I'm racing down Shaker boulevard and screaming please somebody help me, this man robbed me … I was in tears, " said Lefort.
But someone, a 20-year-old man, did hear her cry for help. Not only that, he also claimed he witnessed the whole crime and phoned a friend for back-up. The 20-year-old who asked not to be identified, then began to chase that suspect.
He told NewsChannel 5, "It really made me mad seeing somebody doing something like that. If it was they grandma they wouldn't like that at all."
He was quickly joined by the friend he called for back-up, 19-year-old Robert Leach, who said, "I don't like stuff like that happening around this neighborhood because we ain't that type of people that's over here."
Police said the two chased-down, tackled and pinned the suspect. A third good Samaritan, Jeffery White, said the suspect jumped-out in front of his vehicle in the chase. After seeing Lefort in tears, White said he jumped-out and joined in on the pursuit. A fourth did as well and together, police said the four held the suspect down until officers arrived to make an arrest.
"There is caring people out there, there's angels out there," said Lefort on their actions.
Back at her apartment, Lefort said some of her money, her RTA pass, cell phone and groceries were returned. But she told NewChannel 5 this wasn't the first time an elderly or disabled person of her building was targeted.
Concerned for the rest of her neighbors, Lefort said, "People shouldn't have to live in terror."
When arrested, police noted the suspect saying, "I only took the money and the bags, I didn't hit her."