Watch: Man allegedly tries to steal wheelchair from Phoenix woman
PHOENIX — Police in Phoenix say they have arrested a man who allegedly tried to steal a wheelchair from a woman while she was riding the light rail last month.
They say 26-year-old Austin Shurbutt reportedly pushed the woman out of a light rail car on Nov. 30.
The victim began to scream for help, but Shurbutt is accused of forcibly grabbing the wheelchair and causing the victim to fall from her chair during the struggle.
Police say Shurbutt then attempted to steal the wheelchair but was stopped by a group of bystanders who heard the victim screaming.
Video footage of the incident shows Shurbutt wearing reindeer slippers during the alleged robbery, which can also be seen as he attempts to flee from bystanders. He was still wearing the reindeer slippers at the time of his arrest.
"Despite his reindeer slippers, this criminal was NOT spreading holiday cheer," police said on Facebook. "He tried to steal a wheelchair right out from under a woman, but hero passengers on the light rail came to her rescue."
Police say Shurbutt has two outstanding warrants and has been booked into jail on suspicion of robbery, attempt to kidnap, assault and a vulnerable adult abuse charge.
It was unclear Sunday if Shurbutt has a lawyer yet.
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