Staying Safe While Witnessing Crime - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Staying Safe While Witnessing Crime

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. - An exclusive video caught an assault and robbery in downtown Nashville.  Witnesses saved the day, but their actions are not exactly what police recommend.

Surveillance cameras seem to be everywhere downtown and one of them caught a robbery on Broadway.

A man asked a woman for a cigarette and then snatched her purse. The victim, Linda Myreck, resisted, but he would not give up and threw her to the ground.

"It was pretty vicious as he was slinging me around," said Myreck.

Myreck cleans nightclubs for a living and was walking from one building to the next when the assault happened.

"You know you're just thinking about holding on and trying not to get hurt in the process," said Myreck.

Witnesses heard her cries for help, and they grabbed the suspect and got her purse back.

Police appreciate what they did, but they do not recommend it to others.

"We don't want to have somebody become a victim themselves when they could just be a witness," said Metro police officer Tony Blackburn.  

In many cases the best witness might be a security camera.

"By all means if you have a handgun permit and you're in fear of your own safety or someone else's by all means you have the right to come to that person's aid. If you don't have anything you just need to be a good witness," said Blackburn.

Police insist most of the time it was best not to fight back, just give them what they want and do not get hurt.

I'm doing a lot different. There's no purse on Broadway for me and when I walk out of a building I'll have pepper spray," said Myreck.

Police captured the man who took Myreck's purse near the Country Music Hall of Fame. He's charged with robbery.

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