EUGENE, Ore. - A man asked for money for the bus from a University of Oregon student leaving a coffee shop Saturday night.
The student forked over some spare change.
The panhandler pulled a knife.
And in a moment, a routine incident of panhandling turned into a carjacking.
"All of a sudden, this person pulls out a knife, threatens, and tells him he's going to take his car," Lt. Doug Mozan said. "Our victim in this case did the smartest thing he could do in this case, which is comply."
Ross Duer at ATA Martial Arts agreed.
"Your best goal in life is to go home safe," he said. "Everything else can be replaced. Your life can't."
|Anthony Byam (at left, in April; at right, in November)|
The suspect in the case, Anthony Jonthan Allen Byam, was arrested after a brief car chase early Sunday morning. He crashed the stolen car and ran from police before being captured.
Byam was arrested in April in Medford after crashing a stolen car and jumping on a bicycle with two flat tires, Oregon State Police said. An officer overtook the bike and used a Taser to take Byam into custody.
Duer and Mozan said here are two simple things you can do to avoid being in a similar situation.
First, be aware of your surroundings at all times.
Second, walk with confidence.
"At all times. Doesn't matter if your male of female, even a young child," Duer said. "We teach them to walk with confidence so they don't get bullied."
And although being generous is a good thing, you still need to makeyour safety a priority.
"There's no reason that a person who's generous needs to be a martyr," Mozan said. "And at the same time, there are a lot of different ways you can help a person in need in your community."