PATERSON, NJ --On most days, a man resting in a parked car before sunrise may appear like an easy robbery target, but three suspects in Paterson, New Jersey, learned the hard way that things are not always as they seem.
Kofi Asiad chased down one of the men he says tried to rob him, and it was all captured in exclusive video obtained by Eyewitness News.
It's dramatic video considering the man who got hit and then punched suffered only minor injuries.
"If I was asleep, I'd probably be dead right now," Asiad said.
The rear window of Asiad's van is all over the parking lot of the Food Basics store in Paterson.
In the darkened parking lot, three men wielding hammers approached the van as Asiad sat inside, and one demanded money.
"I hear the rear window shatter, so I turn around to see what happened and the minute I turn my head, the Spanish guy shatters the driver's side window," Asiad said.
Asiad quickly started his van. Trying to get away, his car hit two of the suspects against the wall, and then he saw the third suspect running off. That's where the video picks up.
Asiad drove at him as he crossed the street and hit him, slamming him against the wall. Then, he got out and started kicking the suspect who was still down on the ground.
"I mean, you are coming at me with a hammer. You intend to do someone serious harm," Asiad said.
Later, the suspect got up, but not for very long as Asiad knocked him down with one punch.
Soon, another suspect was on the ground, and the video shows Asiad punch one and kick the other.
Eventually, he made both men take their pants off so they couldn't run.
"It was the only way I could think of subduing them," Asiad said.
"Two young guys, or three, that attempted to rob somebody sitting in a parking lot picked on the wrong guy, absolutely," said Jerry Speziale, the Paterson Police Director.
Asiad uses his van for work, so he's out of a job for a while.
Did he worry that he might have caused more serious injuries by running down the suspect?
"At that point, I didn't care. Because of what he just tried to do to me, I didn't care," Asiad said.
The victim was transported to police headquarters to provide a statement, while Nefy Marte and Maraquan Adamson, both of Paterson, were transported to St. Joseph's Hospital for treatment. Marte, 24, suffered lacerations to his hand. Adamson, 22, sustained head and chest injuries after being struck by the van.
Marte and Adamson have been charged with robbery. The third suspect remains at large.