Caught on camera: Woman pushed out of wheelchair in thwarted theft attempt
TORONTO -- An Arizona man wearing reindeer slippers was arrested after he allegedly tried to rob a woman of her wheelchair while on a light-rail train.
According to a series of Facebook posts from the Phoenix Police Department, the suspect was “NOT spreading Christmas cheer.”
The original video, which has been viewed 31,000 times, appears to show the suspect push the woman out of her chair.,
But as the man attempted to get away with the chair, police said, “hero passengers” came to the woman’s rescue and chased the man out the door. In the video, after a brief scuffle with the “Good Samaritans,” the man abandons the wheelchair and runs off the platform on foot.
Early Saturday morning, police released footage of the brazen alleged robbery. By the evening, they said they had caught the suspect thanks to people sharing the video.
Police note the suspect was still wearing the reindeer slippers when officers found him.
Austin Shurbutt, 26, faces five charges including robbery, kidnapping and assault because of the incident. He also had two outstanding warrants for his arrest, police said.
None of the allegations have been proven in court.