Arlin Visagie from Parkhurst, northern Johannesburg, was enjoying his morning cup of coffee on the patio in his garden when he heard the screams of a woman in distress.
“I heard very loud bloodcurdling screams and immediately knew someone was in danger,” Visagie told TimesLIVE on Monday.
Visagie said he rushed to his front gate and asked his brother-in-law, who was inside the house, to open the gate.
It was around 7am on Wednesday last week.
“As I walked out towards the road, I could see a woman lying on the ground. I saw this guy running towards me who appeared to be an attacker.
“Everything happened so quickly and I knew all I needed to do was stop the guy. I could see two other neighbours running behind him as well, so in my mind I knew this guy must have attacked that lady.”
Visagie said the man had no intentions to stop and had “picked up speed”.
“My former rugby playing days’ instincts kicked in and I could see he was not going to stop. The only way I knew to stop him was to put in a tackle.
“In that moment I heard a woman in distress. It could have been my mother, sister or niece – I didn’t think of my own safety and if he could be armed,” he said.
Woman attacked for her bag in Parkhurst. Big ups to those who caught the suspect. (Viewers ⚠️) pic.twitter.com/4AaK7wnieR
— K U L A N I (@kulanicool) December 4, 2020
Visagie, who played fullback, said he went in for the tackle and the attacker fell to the ground.
He said his brother-in-law came up behind him and pinned the man to the ground. Other community members also gathered.
“As soon as I tackled him he [the alleged attacker] changed his story and told us he was exercising. He also told us the woman was his girlfriend.”
Visagie said they alerted the armed response team in the area and the police, who arrested the suspect
He said the woman, who was on her way to work, sustained a slight leg injury after being dragged on the tar.
“She was on her way to work and trying to make a living in these tough times and this guy decided to try and take from her what is not his. I think it is important to stand up to criminals.
“If I hear someone is in trouble, I am going to help [even if] I put myself in harm’s way. That’s just the way I was raised.”
Gauteng police could not immediately comment on the matter.
by Iavan Pijoos