This bizarre story out of Brooklyn, N.Y. started over a pair of Air Jordans and ended with a teen robber getting his arm ripped off.
According to the New York Post, it was supposed to be a simple transaction. A 39-year-old man named Phillip Pierre used the app Wallapop (although other sources claim it was Craigslist) to advertise a pair of Air Jordan 8 Retro sneakers he was hoping to sell. The asking price was $490.
When Pierre got a response to his ad, he agreed to meet the unknown buyer in Canarsie on Friday at around 1 p.m. The seller showed up the agreed upon location, near the intersection of East 86th Street and Avenue M, and soon was approached by a teen claiming to be the buyer.
Seventeen-year-old Zachary Sam climbed into Phillip’s SUV, and that’s about the time things began to go horribly wrong.
To understand exactly what went wrong, you can watch the CCTV footage obtained by the New York Daily News below. Please be warned; this video is unedited, and it contains extremely graphic footage.
You can’t easily tell in the video, but it turns out Zachary Sam never had any intention of buying the pricey shoes. Instead, he allegedly pulled a gun out on a surprised Phillip Pierre, demanding the Air Jordans free of charge. The robber exited the vehicle with his loot and began to walk away.
When the stunned seller drove away in his SUV, that almost seemed to be the end of the matter. However, if you keep watching, you see the fearful teen robber begin to run — right before having an SUV slam into at full force. The vehicle hit the armed crook with enough force to rip part of his arm completely off.
Eyewitness Alex St. Fleur, a bus driver who lived across the street from where the botched theft occurred, described the shocking scene to reporters.
“I saw a kid under a car…The guy ran him over. He got out [and] the driver said, ‘He’s trying to rob me. He’s trying to rob me.'”
Concerned onlookers rushed over as the dazed teen got from under the car. The young robber left his severed arm behind, attempting to escape the scene by bus. The bus driver refused to move with the bleeding teen onboard, and other passengers began screaming hysterically at the sight of the missing arm.
The New York Daily News reports that after reluctantly exiting the bus, Sam fled down the street to his home, where he collapsed.
Police said the failed robber was soon rushed to Brookdale Hospital, where he remains in serious but stable condition. Doctors began work to re-attach the teen’s arm on Friday night, but it’s unknown at this time if the operation was successful. Regardless of the outcome, Zachary Sam now faces charges of robbery and criminal possession of a weapon.
Police are also expected to charge victim Phillip Pierre with attempted murder after he performed a U-turn in his SUV and ran over the teen robber. A relative of Pierre attempted to defend his actions to ABC 7.
“If somebody puts a gun to your head, and you’re trying to get the cops to catch him, what would you do You’re telling me just let him go?”
Well, when dealing with an armed and likely dangerous robber, it’s seldom advised by law enforcement to take matters into your own hands — or SUV. Once the suspect left the vehicle and the man pulled off, he was no longer in danger. Once Pierre made the decision to turn around and the run down the young robber with his SUV, it very hard to argue self-defense.
What do you think: Should the victim be charged with attempted murder?
[Photo by Larry W. Smith/Getty Images]