“Far too often you hear of citizens witnessing a crime and deciding to turn away and offer no assistance,” said Campbell Mayor Evan Low. “Frequently they won’t cooperate with investigating officers for fear of retaliation but in the city of Campbell we are fortunate to have a community that values public safety and citizens that are willing to put themselves in harms way to prevent harm to others.”According to Campbell Police, on May 23 at about 9:00 p.m. a 17-year-old gang member walked into the Campbell Plaza Bottle Shop on 2345 S. Winchester Blvd. and attempted to rob the cashier at knife-point. What he did not anticipate was the subsequent chain of events.
Hardip Singh fought back. And not only did he fight his attacker off after being cut once with the knife (see surveillance footage here), the surrounding community came to his aide. His co-worker called out for help. A man leaving Safeway gave chase, then enlisted the help of two nearby bicyclists. The bicyclists followed the suspect until Campbell Police arrested him.
In all, seven strangers rallied around Singh that night.
The suspect was arrested and will be tried as an adult, Campbell Police Capt. Greg Finch said at the Tuesday night City Council meeting.
“I am confidence in saying had it not been for their vigilance and courage to take immediate action, the suspect had a good chance of alluding capture,” Finch said. “As a direct result of their brave actions, this violent individual was taken into custody.”
Three of the seven community members that came together that night—Jan Narkiewicz, Dustin Cooper and Hardip Singh—were in attendance July 16 and were recognized by both the Campbell Police Department as well as the city of Campbell.
"I saw Mr. Singh running after the robber. It's the Spiderman Complex," Narkiewicz said. "Where he didn't stop the criminal that killed his uncle. I don't want to hear about some shop keeper killed because he confronted a guy single-handedly so I ran after him.
"My only advice to people: Get in your car and drive. It's faster," he said. "47-year-olds can't outrun 17-year-olds, but I wasn't going to let someone else get hurt if I was there."