Fountain Valley Police recently arrested a man they said forcefully took a woman’s purse from a restaurant and fled as patrons gave chase.
Thanks to the woman and persistent customers who came to her aid and despite one of the good samaritans being assaulting, police said they took Nathan Otto into custody.
The incident began at the Souplantation, 11179 Talbert Ave. at 6:09 p.m. on Dec. 6. Authorities said the victim had placed her purse between herself and a chair when Otto pulled the purse free and ran out.
She and several witnesses ran after the suspect, following as he ran eastbound in the parking lot. During the foot chase, police said the robber assaulted one of the good Samaritans who was after him. He managed to get free and continue running through the parking lot but was finally detained by several witnesses, officials said.
He fought so much, his pursuers pepper sprayed him, officials said. The suspect was allowed to go free when he grabbed for a knife that was in his pocket, officers added.
At least witnesses continued to give chase as he entered the Santa Ana Riverbed, but he ran into awaiting Fountain Valley Police officers who took him into custody without a fight.
At the time of the arrest, two knifes were recovered from the suspect, officers said.
The injuries to the witness who chased him were minor and did not require immediate medical attention, officers said.