An armed robbery suspect and a registered sex offender is in custody thanks to a group of good Samaritans who subdued him until police arrived, according to investigators.
The ordeal began Saturday at the Queen Anne Plaza Shopping Center on S. Oxford Valley Road in Fairless Hills, a suburb about 16 miles northeast of Philadelphia. A 53-year-old woman was outside the Credit Union at the shopping center and grabbed her purse from her car. Suddenly a man armed with a box cutter, later identified as 60-year-old George Blackwell, approached her and tried to steal her purse and wallet, police said.
After Blackwell grabbed her wallet, the woman screamed and fought him off, according to investigators. Police said he then fled on foot and ran across the plaza, throwing the wallet away, but was chased down by three bystanders who witnessed the attack. The bystanders then knocked Blackwell into a pile of snow.
"These guys were big," said Ron Roberts, who recorded the incident with his cellphone as the men held Blackwell down until police arrived. "They threw him over the snow and they had his head in the snow. They weren't letting him get up. They made sure he was going to jail today.
Blackwell, of Falls Township, was arrested and charged with robbery. He is currently being held in the Bucks County Prison on $100,000 bail. Police also confirmed Blackwell is a registered sex offender.
Police say the woman suffered a minor cut to her lip during the incident but was not seriously hurt.