Man with shovel foils robbers

January 18, 2008 3:21:28 PM PST
A Good Samaritan and his shovel are credited with stopping a robbery of a woman.On Thursday evening, 35-year-old Branham was shoveling sidewalks on Olney Avenue to help out a friend when he realized two armed men were robbing a woman withdrawing money from a nearby bank ATM.

He told a neighbor to call 911 and then realized the suspects were running towards him.

"The short guy ran past me and then the big guy went to run by me and then I whacked him," Branham said.

Branham did whack one of the fleeing suspects across the back with the snow shovel taking him to the ground.

"He tried to get up and run so I whacked him again and again and again and then the shovel broke. After that, there was no going anywhere," Branham said.

Police officers from the 35th district soon arrived and took the suspect into custody. The suspect did suffer shovel injuries.

"Basically, this good Samaritan did all the work for us. All we did was handcuff the bad guy and relay information about the second individual," Officer Anthony Comitalo said.

Branham said he just felt he had to do what he feels all Philadelphians should start doing, help each other out.

"Like Michael Nutter, our new mayor said, enough is enough," Branham said.

The suspect hit by the shovel, 34-year-old Vincent Bulgarian, was taken to the hospital by police to get treated for bumps and bruises.

His alleged accomplice, 33-year-old Timothy Hutt was arrested inside a house around the corner.

The gun recovered at the scene turned out to be a toy.

Both men are being charged with a long list of crimes.