By Alexandria Hoff


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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – John Sabalauskas came to the rescue of a young woman Thursday in broad daylight. He didn’t even get her name.

Now the victim is talking.

“I just had a gut feeling that somebody might have been behind me. Then I turned around and it was too late,” the victim, whose identity is being withheld by Eyewitness News, said.

She said around 2 p.m. on Thursday at a busy 21st and Chestnut Street that a man threw her onto the ground and wrestled to remove her backpack.

“I remember screaming, ‘Help, help,’ and then I saw people just going across the street,” she said.

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The victim is a student at Drexel University and works two jobs.

She feared that she was going to die, yet no one stopped to help her until Sabalauskas heard her cries.

When asked if she would like to meet Sabalauskas, the victim said she would.

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“I would actually like to meet him in person,” she said, “but we talked on the phone earlier today.”

Little did she know, Sabalauskas was parked on Market Street and wanted to surprise her.

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On Friday, the young woman and her good Samaritan met again under far better circumstances.

She had a message of gratitude for Sabalauskas.

“I owe you my life,” she said. “Make sure we stay in touch and in contact.”

She has one message for other victims and potential victims of crime and violence in Philadelphia.

“Be aware,” she said. “Things happen anytime and don’t blame yourself.”

Many people commented over how proud Sabalauskas’ young daughter was of him in the story published Thursday night.

On Friday, Eyewitness News found out that the victim’s father reached out to Sabalauskas as well to say thank you.

Alexandria Hoff