2 charged in robbery gone wrong where arm was severed

NEW YORK (AP) – Both people involved in a bizarre botched robbery over pricey sneakers have been arrested after the victim rammed the teenage robber with his SUV, severing his arm, police said Saturday.

Zachary Sam, 17, had arranged online to meet Philippe Pierre to buy a pair of $190 Air Jordan sneakers on a Brooklyn street, police said. But when he hopped into Pierre’s SUV, he pulled out a gun and demanded the shoes for free, according to authorities.

Surveillance footage from the scene shows the teenager get out of the car, put something in his pocket, and walk away with a white plastic bag.

Pierre, 39, drives away slowly, but then makes a sharp U-turn and rams Sam, pinning him under the car and a fence. The teen hopped up and staggered away, his sleeve flapping. The arm and the gun were discovered at the scene, officials said.

Alex St. Fleur told the Daily News of New York that he was walking down the street when he saw the SUV jump the sidewalk and slam into the teenager. He and his son ran over and they saw the arm lying on the ground next to a shoebox.

“Everyone was yelling ‘Come back! Your arm! You’re going to bleed out!'” St. Fleur told the newspaper.

But Sam got onto a nearby bus, though the driver refused to move until he got off, and he ran to his home nearby. Sam remained hospitalized; his arm was severed below the elbow, according St. Fleur.

The teen was arrested on a charge of robbery and criminal possession of a weapon and Pierre was arrested on an attempted murder charge.

Pierre’s family members sobbed in the courtroom during his arraignment Saturday. His attorney told the Daily News he was “astonished” that his client was charged in the case.

“I don’t mean to be harsh, but I think Mr. Sam in a sense was getting what he deserved,” the lawyer, James Harding, told the newspaper. “My client is an absolute victim in this case.”

Sam remained in police custody Saturday night. It wasn’t immediately clear whether he had an attorney who could comment on the case.

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