Attempted mugging victim resists aggressor

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (WSVN) — An attempted robber got more than he bargained for when his intended target fought back, a violent incident captured by security cameras.

Police said 31-year-old Ibel Reyes was walking home Monday morning, at around 10 a.m., to her apartment located on the 3800 block of Southwest 16th Street in Fort Lauderdale. Surveillance footage shows the suspect ambushing her from behind and yanking on the gold chain around her neck.

Reyes held on to her necklace and began fighting off her attacker. “The victim responds by grabbing her chain, protecting herself and just trying to fight off her attacker,” noted Fort Lauderdale Police Detective DeAnna Greenlaw.

Reyes said the man followed her to her apartment building from a Fort Lauderdale Laundromat and attacked her. Speaking through a translator, she said, “When I left to go back home he was behind me, although at the time, I didn’t see him.”

They struggled for a few seconds outside a gate from the apartment building where surveillance cameras rolled on their struggle. “He grabbed me by the arm,” said Reyes, “grabbed my gold chain and told me to give it to him … and I said, ‘No, it’s mine.'”

Police said an unknown Good Samaritan witnessed the altercation and yelled at the attacker until he released Reyes and fled the scene. Greenlaw said, “She moves around, trying to get away from him, and then, eventually, a Good Samaritan driving by sees the altercation, and he yells to the suspect until the suspect lets go of the victim.”

Reyes sustained several scratches on her neck but was otherwise not hurt. The mother said she works hard for everything she has and was not about to give up the gold chain. She also said she has nothing but gratitude for the stranger who stepped in and frightened the subject away.

She said she now fears the man will come back and try to rob her again or attack someone else. “What he did to me, he’ll do to someone else,” Reyes said.

“It’s unknown if the suspect is going to become more violent,” said Greenlaw, “or why he was so brazen. It’s the middle of the day. It’s in a highly populated area, and he probably had no idea that he was caught on a nearby surveillance camera.”

Investigators described the suspect as a thin male in his 20s, standing about 6 feet tall and wearing a blue T-shirt, jeans and long dread locks tied up in a bun.

If you have any information on this attempted robbery, call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a reward.

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