'It's just not right': Good Samaritan tells ONLY ABC13 why he stepped in to chase man with knife

Friday, July 28, 2023
Good Samaritan tells 13 he 'wasn't raised' to let phone thief get away
A grandfather will have to miss weeks of work after the man he was trying to stop after a phone theft stabbed him, causing 100 stitches.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The bustling intersection of Federal Road and the East Freeway fell into chaos on Wednesday just before noon.

"I didn't even know he was going to be that violent. I didn't know he was packing," Kayla, an employee at the Burger King at the intersection, said.

Evelyn Argueta and James Littles took their grandkids to Burger King to wait for a movie later that day. They plugged in their phones at a booth and went to watch the kids in the play area.

"He just grabbed my phone and grabbed James' phone and slowly unplugged both of them and ran away," Argueta said.

Kayla, who only gave us her first name, said the alleged phone thief has a history of stealing phones and heckling customers at their location.

"We had banned him from not coming back over here, and he still comes over here," Kayla said.

Littles said he and a bystander, who police identified as James L. James, chased the man into the parking lot. ABC13 was told the man then threw down both phones and pulled out a knife. Argueta said when the knife came out, she called 911.

James, unwilling to let the suspect go, followed him across the feeder road and up an embankment. ABC13 was told that's where he fell, and the suspect began attacking.

"People work too hard for what they got. For somebody to just come and steal it like that, its just not right," James told Eyewitness News. "I wasn't raised that way. My relatives would probably come back and haunt me if I didn't do something."

"He just leaned over and just started stabbing him everywhere with the knife. It wasn't just one stab. He just leaned right over and kept going anywhere he could stab him at," Argueta said.

James said he was stabbed in nine areas and received more than 100 stitches.

He will be out of work for weeks.

Earlier report: Man stabbed 9 times outside Burger King over stolen phone, family says

Houston police are still looking for the man accused of stabbing a good Samaritan who tried to prevent a theft at a Burger King.

"I don't remember thinking anything else but, 'I've gotta keep this guy off of me because if he gets to where he can tower over me and bend down, I'm done,'" James said.

"I've never seen something like that in my life," Kayla said.

The pictures Argueta was able to take of the alleged suspect are frightening as he walks away holding a large knife.

"You could see the bone was sticking out where the man had stabbed him," Kayla said.

Argueta and Littles said after the attack, the man ran away before the police got there, but they were able to provide them with clear pictures of the man's face and clothes, as well as him holding a knife.

HPD later released the same images of the suspect, asking for the public's help in identifying him.

"He can go hurt someone. He can go do the same thing and steal someone else's phones or just stab anyone just like he did this man," Argueta said.

Argueta, wanting the public to be aware of the man, posted the pictures on social media. Littles' close friend, just hours later, sent him new pictures and said he had spotted someone who looked the same and was wearing the same clothes in the Third Ward. That friend called the police to report the sighting but said the alleged suspect got on a bus and left the area before police arrived.

"He has no remorse. He is just out there. Please protect yourself," Littles said.

Both Argueta and Littles want the suspect identified or arrested before he viciously attacks someone else over something so minor as a stolen phone.

"I don't get it. I don't get it," Littles said.