When Arianna Verette was jumped by three men just a half a block from her off-campus apartment, the owners of Maxwell's Café were quick to grab a baseball bat and spring to her aid.
"I was checking my phone and felt someone hit me from behind," Verette, a 21-year-old student at the University of Minnesota, recalled. "They kind of knocked me down and reached into my pocket and grabbed my phone."
Verette said she was walking home from a friend's house at about 4 a.m. when she was mugged. Luckily, the owners of Maxwell's Café saw what was about to happen and didn't hesitate to help.
"When I saw her walking and three guys behind her, I felt something was going on," said Adel Dayem Hamid. "She made a left and I got my baseball bat and came from the side door."
Hamid said he and Ramadan Abdalla Hussein had closed the popular late-night hangout at 3 a.m. and were cleaning up when the attack occurred.
"The guy started choking her and so I started screaming," Hamid recalled. "I chased two of them -- and one of them, my friend chased him."
Hussein explained that the assailants fled as soon as he and Hamid appeared.
"They were surprised to see us," Hussein told FOX 9 News. "That's why they took off right away."
Both Hamid and Hussein ended their charge and returned to check on Verette, who did not sustain any serious physical injuries. Despite a now-missing phone and a few bumps and bruises, Verette told FOX 9 News she feels lucky someone was looking out for her.
"It could have been a lot worse if it wasn't for them, so I just really want to thank them for what they did," Verette said.
Hamid and Hussein told FOX 9 News that it would have been impossible for them to stand by when witnessing such an attack.
"There was no way we were just going to stand here and see what's going on outside and say,'We don't care,'" Hussein said.
Minneapolis police called the theft a crime of opportunity, and say there hasn't been a student robbed on campus in nearly three months. Anyone with information is urged to call 612-692-8477.
Students are encouraged to take advantage of either the 24-hour walking service on campus or the free shuttle service Gopher Chauffeur, which runs on Friday and Saturday nights until the wee hours of the morning.