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Good Samaritans step in after woman is robbed, beaten in Chicago alley

Good Samaritans help woman targeted in brutal attack
Good Samaritans help woman targeted in brutal attack 02:41

CHICAGO (CBS) -- In a situation becoming all too familiar in Chicago, a young woman was attacked in a robbery in Little Italy recently.

A thief is seen dragging the woman through an alley as she screams for help.

CBS 2's Jermont Terry spoke to one man who ran to help the woman, and said he didn't even think about his own safety.

"She's right down over here on the ground laying - distraught, upset," said Joey Matteis.

Matteis walked CBS 2's Terry through what he witnessed last Friday in Little Italy.

"She's just laying here crying," he said.

Surveillance video shows the woman walking down Flournoy Street off Racine Avenue, when a man in a yellow hoodie grabs her.

The video shows the man punching the woman in an attempt to get her purse. Keep in mind this happened at 4 p.m.

The woman refuses to give over the purse. That is when you see the man violently yank the woman down the alley.

"She was on the ground, and he was just pulling at her and trying to rip it off of her," Matteis said.

The woman was all alone. But during the attack, she got the attention of Matteis and others.

"It was the screams – I mean, it just sounded like someone was getting stabbed, attacked," said Matteis. "It just sounded like she was in so much pain."

Her yells sent Matteis outside.

"I start screaming: 'Hey! Get off of her! Get off of her!' when another gentleman comes and starts running after him," he said.

The surveillance video shows the second man running down the alley after the robber.

"He was in his car, honestly, like parked - about to leave – and he heard the screams too," Matteis said, "and he just jumped out and ran. He left his own girlfriend, who was around with him, and just ran right after to help out."

A closer look at the video shows a sport-utility vehicle pulling in just seconds before the attack. The man in the yellow hoodie got out, and waited on the sidewalk for the woman to pass the alley.

The driver of the SUV also pulled down the alley to wait – leaving many to believe this was all planned.

"They don't care," Matteis said. "They don't have a regard for their lives or others."

Yet neither Matteis nor the others who jumped in ever thought twice about their own safety – or whether the robber had a gun.

Terry: "Being a Chicagoan and just having a heart, when you saw her, you didn't hesitate."

Matteis: "No, no. I mean, you see someone that – that could be anyone's sister, mother. You're raised to defend women, not attack them."

So if you're wondering why the victim didn't just let go of the bag, her passport was apparently inside – and she moved to Chicago just days ago.

Police late Thursday were still investigating.

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