Police: Driver hit would-be robber with car in Northeast Philadelphia

NORTHEAST PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Police say what began as a hit-and-run investigation in Northeast Philadelphia is now being investigated as a robbery, in which the victim turned the tables on the suspect.

It happened before 11 p.m. in the parking lot of the Wells Fargo bank branch at Bustleton and Bleigh avenues.

Police initially thought they were investigating a hit-and-run after finding a man with serious head wounds.

But everything changed after police discovered a white car with serious damage about a quarter mile away and the owner, who is from Portugal, came out to talk to officers.

"There was a little bit of a language barrier with the victim. Once we overcame that hurdle and got the story and we were able to back it up with the video, this is the outcome," said Lt. Dennis Rosenbaum.

The man told investigators he drove up to the Wells Fargo ATM just before 11 p.m. Monday with his wife and small child in the car. As his money came out of the ATM, a 49-year-old man with his face covered came out of nowhere with a gun and took the money, a couple hundred dollars.

The frightened robbery victim drove off.
"He then fled the parking lot and noticed that his debit card was still in the machine. He decided to return to the machine and was reconfronted by the male," Rosenbaum said.

This time, the driver drove into the suspect, sending him onto the windshield.

Police say the suspect was armed with a knife and the weapon plunged through the windshield before the man tumbled to the ground. The driver drove to his home on Rutland where the car was later discovered by police.

"He fled. He was scared. He is not from this country. He's only been here for a month and he was in fear that he would be arrested, but he did the right thing when he saw police had his car and decided to come and cooperate," said Rosenbaum.

The suspect suffered very serious injuries. He is expected to be survived and police say he will be charged with the robbery.

Diana Ramirez, the mother of the suspect's two children, says she doesn't buy the story.

"I want the proof. I want the video and why was he hit so hard if he was robbing somebody; I don't understand how he could get in front of the car. It just doesn't make sense to me," Ramirez said.

The driver of the car is not facing any charges.
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