A black rights advocate, often critical of Tampa police relations, was assisted by officers early Saturday morning after being robbed at gunpoint in Ybor City.
Ali Muhammad is well known in the Bay Area community for calling attention to the need for police reform during the selection process of the police citizens review board. He also wants to put an end to black crime, encouraging community members to come forward after several deadly shootings.
Muhammad became the victim of a black-on-black crime after a night of working as a DJ at a club in Ybor City. While walking down 8th Avenue around 3 a.m., Muhammad was robbed at gunpoint.
"I was approached by a young black male who just came up to me and said, 'Give me your earrings and your backpack,'" recalled Muhammad. "He took everything I had. At the time, he didn't take my cell phone, and that's what made me call 911."
Muhammad followed the suspect down the street from a distance, until he was advised to stop by 911 dispatchers.
Along the way, suspect robbed two other women at gunpoint, according to the police report.
"One lady, she was in tears. She said she couldn't believe it. He had the gun in her mouth," said Muhammad, who came in contact with the women after they ran from the suspect.
Within 10 minutes of receiving Muhammad's call for help, Tampa police had several officers searching for the suspect, described as being shirtless and holding a handgun.
Officers spotted the suspect, 18-year-old Antwan Robertson, and chased him to a nearby Burger King parking lot. They found him hiding behind a dumpster.
Muhammad got back his stolen jewelry and backpack, which held his laptop and ID, after officers apprehended the suspect.
Muhammad said the traumatic experience that ended without anyone injured is also an example of why police and the community must be able to come together for a greater good.
"I congratulated the police," said Muhammad, "I'm very anti-police, but I'm not against police relations and community relations."