It was unmistakable. The man’s action displayed an evident evil intent. I was stunned speechless for a while, panic rising from within. However, I could not have chosen a better time to demonstrate my heroic nature. I then sprang into action and started running after the criminal. I was almost desperate to prove myself worthy of a good deed.
As I picked up pace, I reached for my cellphone in the pocket. I called the police and told them the specifics of the crime I had witnessed. The officer on the line said help was on the way then. I continued to eyeball the robber as he made a turn round a corner ahead. I knew I had to catch up quickly before I lost him. I took a deep breath and thrust myself forward with greater earnestness.
I came round the corner and almost tumbled over. I peered ahead. I thought I had lost sight of the robber. Then, I caught sight of him who was about to run up a hill. He had gone on to the wrong route, I thought. I accelerated and started shouting, “Help! Help! Catch that man! Catch that man!” Quite fortunately, a young gentleman was at a lift lobby. He heard me and went after the robber too.
The robber was now half way up the hill. From a distance, I could tell that he was slowing down. The steep gradient was obviously too arduous for him. The young man and I managed to reach the foot of the hill shortly after.
“Hey You! Surrender yourself!” I blurted out, as I began ascending towards him. The robber looked over his shoulders, drenched in sweat. He then scrambled ahead, with only the top of the hill in his mind.
As the pursuit went on by the side of the hill, I could hear the police siren behind us. That really sent the robber into hysteria as he yelled something nonsensical. He even threw his loot at us and he was very much in tears.
I took a quick glance at the police officers. They were making their way to the other side of the hill. I knew both the young man and I could just stay where we were. The police officers would definitely surround the robber on the other side of the hill. There was no way he could slip off this time.
I was slowly but surely out of breath even as we were closing in on the robber. The young man was also looking weary. We both looked up. Lo and behold, the robber had given up. He was sitting on the slope, panting heavily. I was rather bemused when I saw him crying away. He was uttering something about gambling and being in debt. I could not care too much to be distracted.
I was about to take another tedious step when I heard “Stop there! Don’t move!” It was a welcome relief from the police officers who had reached the top of the hill. They were descending upon the robber who was still talking to himself. I looked at the young man and we both smiled. We lay on the slope for a few seconds before a police officer approached us.
We helped each other up and followed the police officer. I had the chance to look at the robber at close range. He was a heavily-tattooed middle-aged man in tattered clothing. He looked listless and was still mumbling to himself. I was thinking, perhaps, he had valid reasons for committing the crime. Quite abruptly, a sense of guilt overwhelmed me. Maybe I should not have run after him.
Before I could dwell deeper, I forced myself to dispel the thought. He had done something wrong and should be brought to justice. I just wished he really had his “valid” reasons and he would plead leniency before the judge.
After the police officers had recorded my statements, they thanked me and left in the patrol car. I turned round and saw the young man. He looked at me and offered a handshake, “I’m John.”
“I’m Joel,” I replied, shaking his hand.
“Shall we go for coffee?”