Good Samaritans help stop attempted purse snatching

Video shows a woman walking down the sidewalk getting jumped for her purse. She makes a dicey decision to fight back, then a group of bystanders jumped in to help.

The would-be thief is first captured on security camera footage walking north on South 16th toward Walnut Sunday night around 10 p.m. June 18.

He thinks he's about to steal the purse right off 30-year-old Krista Van Velzen's shoulder, but he has underestimated his victim.

"I knew the smart thing to do would have been to let him have my purse. But it was like a very this is mine, not yours, so back off' type of reaction. So I bore down and held on as hard as I could," she told FOX 29.

As Krista and the man wrestle for the purse, she notices a group of men nearby and makes a decision about her attacker.

"I think there was a point where I realized he did not have a weapon on him and so I'm like there's nothing this guy can do in front of this many people if I hold onto it," she explained.

Within seconds, the Good Samaritans advance on the alleged thief.

Boxing poses are struck and Krista makes one more admittedly risky move:

"There was another thing I probably shouldn't have done, but it was a sense of pride. I kind of got in the attacker's face when the guys were there and they told me to back off."

The standoff ends quickly and the would-be thief takes off.

Police say fighting back against an attacker can be a dicey move.

"We would tell people that your life or your physical safety is not worth any possession. But at the same time it's a personal decision. You have to decide for yourself, A) how valuable your valuables are. We don't know what was in that purse," Philadelphia Police Captain Sekou Kinebrew said.