MINNEAPOLIS - A Good Samaritan who witnessed a robbery in Minneapolis led police right to the suspect.
Cammy McGraw did everything police say you should not do. She came upon the armed robbery, jumped in to help, and then went after 23-year-old Jesse Scott Johnson of Arden Hills.
McGraw is being hailed a hero. She was on her way to yoga class last Saturday when she saw two men struggling near the intersection of Central and 23rd Avenue NE in Minneapolis. Their struggle came into her traffic lane.
"I had to stop or I would have hit them, and they fell down here right next to my wheel well," McGraw said.
As she got out of her car, she called 911.
"One guy was punching the other guy and the other guy was screaming saying, 'He just tried to rob me! Take the money! Take the money!'" she said.
She couldn't get to the victim's box of money safely but, "I saw a gun on the ground and I thought, 'OK, get the gun. Get the gun so the bad guy can't get it.'"
McGraw grabbed the handgun and then other people came over to see what was going on.
"And the robber just got up and started walking down the street and I thought, 'Well he can't get away. The police aren't here yet,'" she said.
So with the suspect's gun in her hand, McGraw followed him, giving a detailed description to the 911 dispatcher, eventually earning the praise of Minneapolis Police.
Minneapolis Police Spokesperson John Elder said, "Her actions truly ensured that we would get an arrest and charges in this case."
McGraw followed the suspect about a block and then near a bank on the corner, "He went down this little alleyway and… I lost sight of him."
The suspect didn't get far. Police said he ducked into an apartment building right next to the bank.
Elder said people coming out of the apartment building told police a man matching Johnson's description was getting rid of a hoodie in the laundry room.
"Shortly thereafter he was seen walking out the front of the apartment building into the awaiting arms of second precinct officers," Elder said.
He said police would never advise anyone to do what McGraw did.
"Until you're faced with a crisis like this, you don't really know how you're going to react. So for me to second guess anything that she did is really disingenuous," he said.
McGraw believed she followed the suspect at a safe distance and had she felt threatened, she may not have reacted the same.
"I wasn't scared. I don't ever feel that I was in danger. I was just trying to help the guy."
The victim was not available for an interview on Thursday but does want to meet McGraw to thank her.
Johnson is being held on a first-degree aggravated robbery charge.