INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A woman was only trying to help a stranger, when she says he assaulted her and then robbed her. It happened downtown in broad daylight at the corner of Meridian Street and East St. Clair Street on Monday.
Shannon Whitmire was just taking a quick walk from Central Library, across the street to the bus stop when she was stopped by a man. He said he needed help with bus fare. So, she gave him what she could.
“It was not enough money for him. He started getting angry,” said Whitmire.
Whitmire tried to call police when she said he got aggressive.
“I’m trying to dial 911. At that point, he comes up and touches me and I scream at him and I’m cursing and screaming. Because I want to scare him,” Whitmire said.
That did nothing to deter him. According to Whitmire the man grabbed her phone.
“He just towered over me. He grabbed my face, went down on my neck, grabbed my coat and threw me forward. I fell on my knee and then on my backside and then got up immediately,” she said.
It didn’t take long, however, after the attack before Whitmire’s faith in humanity was restored. Within seconds, a group of people came to her rescue.
“They just came and wrapped themselves around him. The woman was so upset that it happened that she actually grabbed the handlebars of his bike and tried really hard to get him to stay still until police got there,” Whitmire said.
Whitmire believes the group spooked the suspect, so he handed over her phone. She began snapping photos. He left before police arrived. She’s hoping that the pictures lead to an arrest, but if not, she’s still grateful to those who stepped in to help.
“Had they not distracted him, who knows what would’ve happened after I hit the ground,” she said.
Whitmire had some scratches, but did not have serious injuries. If you have any information that could help, contact Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS.