Restaurant owner tackles attacker who punched, robbed elderly man in Hollywood: 'I'm glad I got him'

"Honestly, I didn't even think about it, it was just instinct," he said. "It was more of something just happened that is wrong."

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ByMarc Brown via KABC logo
Wednesday, August 17, 2022
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An elderly man having lunch in Hollywood was viciously attacked and robbed - but the quick thinking of a good Samaritan who happened to see it all saved his life.

HOLLYWOOD, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- An elderly man having lunch in Hollywood was viciously attacked and robbed - but the quick thinking of a good Samaritan who happened to see it all saved his life.

The frightening and unprovoked attack was caught on surveillance video.

The elderly man was sitting down having lunch when footage shows the attacker walk up to him and suddenly punch him in the face.

As the attacker attempts to flee with the man's wallet and cell phone, Timothy Ratcliff took action.

"I set the drink down on my table and I literally turned and watched as it happened," he said.

Ratcliff owns Shin Hollywood, a sushi restaurant on La Brea Avenue near where the attack happened, and said he had just stepped outside when he saw it all unfold.

"There was this homeless guy that we knew, he's been here like two months, and he just sucker-punched the guy right in his face, knocks him to the ground, and he takes his cell phone and wallet and starts running away," said Ratcliff. "I ran after him. We get right around the corner and he sucker-punches me. I didn't see that coming, and I tackle him and we ended up in the street a little bit."

As Ratcliff struggled to hold the man down, his girlfriend ran up to assist him, taking back the stolen cell phone and money.

Ratcliff said he had to hold the man down for nearly 10 minutes before police arrived to make the arrest.

"I held him there the entire time," he said. "He was talking to me the whole time, asking, 'Hey, please just let me go,' and I said, 'You crossed the line this time. You can't do stuff like this, that's wrong.' So police came and handcuffed him took him to jail."

Ratcliff said as disturbing as the confrontation was, he would do it all over again.

"Honestly, I didn't even think about it, it was just instinct," he said. "It was more of something just happened that is wrong, and this old man can't do anything about it. There's no way. You're not just going to go steal something. I could not stop that from happening, so I ran and got him. Honestly, I'm glad I got him."