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Barbershop patrons confront would-be carjacker with compassion

MINNEAPOLIS — An attempted robbery in Minneapolis Tuesday turned into a wild chase through the streets, but it wasn’t police doing the chasing. It was a group of men who rushed out of a barbershop.

“A woman knocked on the window like, ‘Hey!’ We all run out,” said Denzel Thomas, a barber at Nomadic Oasis.

About a dozen men inside the shop saw the woman, who was scared and barefoot. She was one of the barber’s wives.

A guy in a mask and hoodie was trying to steal her car out of the parking lot.

“It put us in flight mode and we started running after him,” Thomas said.

The would-be robber bolted. Thomas says he saw the person didn’t have a gun, so the group stayed on him.

Faysal Osman, the owner of the barbershop, was next door when he saw what was going on.

“I have to act and do something,” Osman said.

About a block-and-a-half from the shop, Osman says the guy jumped on a city bus. Some of the group got in their cars and followed.

They caught up with the bus in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood and blocked its way. Thomas says the person got off the bus and they eventually cornered him.


Faysal Osman

“He took his mask off and he’s 15,” Thomas said. “He’s letting them know, ‘I’m only a kid, I’m only a kid.'”

Osman says the teen told them that he was hungry and didn’t have anything. The men didn’t turn him over to police.

“We talked to him, had a heart to heart,” Osman said. “We’re from the same community, we going through the same struggle as you going through … if you need a job, you need something, if you need help, talk to us. We’re willing to help you. That’s the last thing he needs, to be in the system.”

The barbers hope the teen reaches out and that this will be a wake-up call.

“I’m a human being, and I’ma love you as a human being,” Osman said.

Minneapolis police responded to the scene at the barbershop. The department didn’t immediately respond to our request for comment on what happened.

Osman says the woman told them afterward the teen had punched her, and she punched him back. Thomas says if they had known that at the time, they would’ve held him for the police.

Source: CBS Minnesota

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