Mohammad Armeli, a manager at the Christos off 26th and Nicollet in south Minneapolis, was hanging out at a neighboring business around 4:30 p.m. on March 6 when he looked out the window and saw a bloodied child yelling on the Nicollet sidewalk.
"His face was full of blood, and he was screaming, 'My iPad! My iPad!" Armeli told us. "He was pointing to a young man about 30 feet away."
Without a second thought, Armeli sprang into action and gave chase.
"He was tossing things out of his pocket and tried to run into an apartment building -- thankfully it was locked -- and I got 911 on my cell phone," Armeli continued. "I kept running after him -- some other gentleman pursued too -- and I caught up to him at 28th and Stevens."
Once he caught up with him, Armeli says he "grappled" with the suspect, later identified as 32-year-old Minneapolis resident Aaron Stillday, and was able to hold him down long enough for police to arrive.
Though Stillday initially said he was actually the victim of an assault -- he told officers "a group of Somali males were chasing him for no reason" -- surveillance footage clearly shows him decking the boy and making off with his iPad, which he promptly broke by dropping it on the sidewalk.
Here's the video:
To add insult to injury, the victim later told police that when Stillday approached him as he left daycare with his aunt, he said, "Give me that, n****r!" before punching him.
The boy was later treated at a hospital.
"He's the scum of the earth to hit a child like that," Armeli said, adding that the only reason he was able to catch up to him was adrenaline.
"He was quick, very fast, and I'm twice his age, but my blood pressure went through the roof when I saw the kid," he said.
Asked whether he'd do the same thing again -- after all, for all he knew, the suspect could've had a gun -- Armeli said he'd do it "over and over and over without and hesitation."
"I'm the type of person who sees something, and I do something," Armeli said. "That's the way we're going to get criminals off the street."
Stillday, meanwhile, has been charged with first-degree aggravated robbery.
WCCO reports that the Uptown Apple store replaced the boy's iPad free of charge when managers there heard about what happened. Good for them.