Interventions by concerned citizens on Tuesday led to the arrests of a man who robbed a woman on a UW campus area street and a man who attacked a restaurant worker on the Capitol Square, Madison police reported.
The first incident happened about 4:40 p.m. in the 500 block of University Avenue when a man unzipped a 22-year-old woman’s backpack as she was walking and stole her wallet, Madison police public information officer Joel DeSpain said in a statement.
Feeling a tug on her backpack, she turned around, saw the robber had her wallet, and yelled for help, prompting a 21-year-old Kentucky man to chase the suspect, who threatened to kill the Kentucky man, and took a swing at him. The Kentucky man then threw a punch at the suspect and took him to the ground Despain said.
Others joined in to help the Kentucky man and the suspect ended up with a head cut that would require stitches before he could be taken to jail, DeSpain said.
Arriving officers arrested Kyle W. Haag, 34, no permanent address, on tentative charges of robbery and disorderly conduct. Several used hypodermic needles were found in his backpack, DeSpain said.
The woman who was robbed got her wallet back quickly, and while she was initially very distraught, her demeanor improved as she was comforted by many who were in the area, as well as police, Despain said.
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The second incident happened shortly after 6 p.m. Tuesday at East Main Street and South Pinckney Street on the Capitol Square.
DeSpain said in a statement that an employee of a Downtown restaurant was taken to the ground by a man who put both hands around his throat. The worker told police he believed the attack would have not stopped without the intervention of several concerned people who came to his aid.
The restaurant worker said the attack happened after the suspect and a woman returned to where both had left a pile of their belongings for a period of time. The couple yelled out: "Did anyone f- with our s-!" The worker said he had noticed their belongings and let the man and woman know that no one had bothered their property or stolen anything, DeSpain said.
The woman took exception to his response, saying they were not directing their question to him, but to someone else and she became very confrontational with him. The suspect stepped in, took the victim down, and got on top of the worker, DeSpain said.
The worker yelled, "Dude what you are doing!" and "Dude get off!" and bystanders heard his pleas and helped pull the suspect off as officers responded to the scene.
Anthony D. Farmer, 41, no permanent address, was arrested on tentative charges of battery and disorderly conduct.