Truck driver stops to save woman from attacker on street: 'Nobody was helping'

A truck driver helped to save a woman from a street attack. (Photo: KYW)
A truck driver helped to save a woman from a street attack. (Photo: KYW)

It was a regular business day Thursday for a truck driver in Philadelphia, Penn., as he drove through Center City. But as soon as he heard a shrill scream just above the music he was listening to, he decided to jump into action.

John Sabalauskas looked out the window when he heard what sounded like sirens. His attention was brought to a woman under attack by a man on the sidewalk.

“I seen her face, seen him, threw the truck in park, jumped out of the truck and ran over,” Sabalauskas told KYW.

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According to Sabalauskas’s account, the attacker was trying to grab the woman’s backpack, which was filled with her personal belongings. Sabalauskas ran over and started to scream, scaring the attacker away. However, the man had already taken possession of the victim’s laptop.

“He proceeded to run down 21st northbound so I gave chase,” Sabalauskas continued, adding that he called on another onlooker for help to grab the robber. “As [the attacker] started to run by that gentleman, that gentleman grabbed him by the shoulder.”

By the time that Sabalauskas caught up to the attacker and the other gentleman helping, the two of them were already on the ground. Sabalauskas told KYW that he jumped on top of them to hold the robber down while a third ally flagged down police officers.

Philadelphia police tell Yahoo Lifestyle that the attacker was ultimately identified as 29-year-old Dion Butler. He was arrested and charged with robbery and simple assault, amongst three other charges.

The robber was identified as Dion Butler. (Photo: Philadelphia Police Department)
The robber was identified as Dion Butler. (Photo: Philadelphia Police Department)

Sabalauskas has since been asked about the danger he faced not knowing if the attacker was armed or not. However, he told KYW that the additional threat didn’t cross his mind when he saw that someone was in need of help.

“They didn’t see the look on that girl’s face that I saw,” he said, referring to those with concerns. “The way she was on that ground screaming and nobody was helping.”

According to KYW, Sabalauskas was only able to speak with the victim for a moment after the incident and didn’t manage to get her name. But after doing the good deed, he can only hope that someone would do the same for his own daughter.

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