A Salvation Army holiday bell ringer in Florida narrowly escaped a horrifying attack in a parking lot when a good Samaritan jumped in to help.
Billie Richert, 65, became the target of an attack when Robert Moore, 42, allegedly attempted to steal her car in the parking lot of a Publix in Hillsborough.
The incident, which occurred moments after Richert finished her volunteer shift as a holiday bell ringer on Monday afternoon, was captured on a nearby surveillance camera.
In the footage, Richert can be seen falling to the ground, crying for help as the suspect approached her and seized her hands and keys.
Fortunately, a good Samaritan, who requested not to be identified, came to her rescue and fought the robber off.
Moore has been arrested and charged with robbery by snatching, battery and battery on a person over 65, according to the Hillsborough County sheriff’s office.
Billie Richert, 65, a Salvation Army holiday bell ringer in Florida, narrowly escaped a horrifying attack in a parking lot when a good Samaritan jumped in to help
Robert Moore, 42, was accused of attempting to steal Richert’s car in the parking lot of a Publix in Hillsborough Monday afternoon
The incident occurred moments after Richert (pictured) finished her volunteer shift as a holiday bell ringer on Monday afternoon
Richert was walking to her car after she had finished her bell-ringing shift for the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign Monday afternoon.
A video shows her walking right past the suspect, who was sitting on the curb in the Publix parking lot
He suddenly rose up, charged toward the victim and knocked her to the ground in an attempt to take her keys and steal the car.
Richert recalled that the robber came at her and said, ‘give me my keys. Those are my keys.’
‘And I said no and turned away from him. He was still all over me. And I told him to leave me alone. I told him to get away. And I screamed,’ she told FOX 13.
Richert was walking to her car after she finished her bell-ringing shift for the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign Monday afternoon
A video shows the suspect walking right past Moore, who was sitting on the curb
Moore suddenly rose up, charged toward the victim and knocked her to the ground in an attempt to take her keys and steal the car
Richert tried to fight back by pepper-spraying the suspect, but was knocked to the ground.
‘He jerked my hand, grabbed the keys and took off. I went down on the concrete, and I just screamed for help,’ she said in an interview with WFLA.
Her cries were heard by a good Samaritan who was placing groceries in his vehicle. He rushed from 70 yards away to Richert’s aid and tackled the suspect down.
He and a few people nearby held the man down until police arrived on the scene.
‘I just kicked off my flip flops and ran at him full speed, and I got a hold of him and ended that attack,’ he said.
The good Samaritan, who requested no to show his face, is a veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, FOX 13 reported.
‘He tried to run, and he wasn’t able to get far and I took him down and fought him for a while. I think he was, he’s on some drugs,’ he said.
‘I really didn’t give it any thought. I saw it and just blacked out. I really don’t remember catching him or throwing him down,’ he added.
Her cries was heard by a good Samaritan who was placing groceries in his vehicle. He rushed from 70 yards away to Richert’s aid and tackled the suspect down
The good Samaritan broken his two fingers and suffered some minor scrapes. He is a veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan
The good Samaritan broke his two fingers and suffered some minor scrapes, but said he would do it all over again if he had to go back.
‘There are people who choose to be evil and the only way that we can prevent it is people need to step in and do something when they see it go down,’ he said.
Richert met the good Samaritan for the first time since the attack on Wednesday and thanked him and others for help.
‘I am so thankful, you can’t imagine the fear that I had in me, he was just so special,’ she said.
‘I was really blessed,’ Richert added. ‘They came to my rescue. I didn’t break a bone. I could’ve been stabbed. I could’ve been shot or anything. I’m blessed.’