A woman leapt into action and chased down a man after he stole another woman’s purse – and then she took the alleged mugger to coffee.
Tess Aboughoushe spotted a struggle between two strangers when she was returning from a chiropractor appointment Wednesday.
“I was walking back to my office and crossing the street and a lady calls out, ‘Stop. Thief. He took my wallet,’” Aboughoushe told CBC Radio’s Edmonton AM.
Aboughoushe, a long-distance runner, said her instincts kicked in and she began to chase the man.
“Just like in the movies, she screams and I see this man start to run. I didn’t stop to think or anything. I just kind of took off after the guy,” she told CBC.
After two blocks, the Canadian woman said she found him hiding behind a dumpster. Aboughoushe said she approached the man, cautiously, fearing he may have a knife. Instead of attacking her, she said the man began to cry.
“He came out from behind the dumpster and says, in a conciliatory way, ‘Here is the wallet, I can’t do this anymore, I’m sorry, just take it, take it.’” she said to CBC.
Aboughoushe took the wallet and gave it back to the woman, who caught up with the pair in the alleyway.
“I gave it back to her and he stayed there, apologizing a lot,” she said.
“He said, ‘I’ve never done anything like this before. I just really need the money. I don’t know where to go. I’m lost,'” she continued.
That’s when Aboughoushe’s story takes a turn from “just like in the movies.”
“I offered the guy a coffee because you could tell he was very distraught and upset,” Aboughoushe said.
She said the two walked to Credo, a coffee shop in Edmonton, where she bought him a large black coffee.
The purse thief told Aboughoushe he had been visiting the city with his friends from Calgary, but they left him stranded without any money. He told her he was trying to get back home.
Aboughoushe said the man looked “very lost,” and she gave him directions to the public library to find the social workers on staff, CBC News reported.
Though Aboughoushe knows she puts herself in a risky situation, she has no regrets.
“You kill more flies with honey than you do with vinegar,” she said. “I wanted to show him some compassion.”
Aboughoushe reported the incident to the Edmonton police later that afternoon.