Midlands Man Stops Robbery Suspect

8:08 AM, May 12, 2004   |    comments
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A Midlands man is being called a hero for helping police catch a man accused of several robberies in Columbia. Thanks to the quick thinking of Columbia resident, Bruce Brutschy, the accused robber is now in jail. Forty-three-year-old Philip Babb is accused of several recent robberies along Devine Street; including hold-ups at Young's Food Store, the Whitney Hotel and Just the Thing Boutique. As News 19's Brandy Bell found out, it was the last crime, that saw Brutschy spring to action. Tracy Wright and Bruce Brutschy had never even met, but Wright waited all weekend to give Brutschy a hug. "I consider him really a hometown hero," said Wright. She's not the only one who thinks Brutschy's brave. Jeanne Brutschy calls her husband "Bruce Almight" and she says his actions on Saturday prove it's a title he deserves. It was a quiet Saturday morning at Just the Thing Boutique until Wright, who manages the store, says a man came to the counter and gave the clerk a note. "He handed it to her and it said give me all your money now," said Wright. But the clerk didn't give the robber money, and he took off. That would prove to be a mistake, because as Brutschy pulled up to the store, he saw the robber leaving. "I said Jeanne, I think they've been robbed. I'm going after the van," said Brutschy. Without a thought about his own safety, Brutschy says he gave chase. "Basically I'm thinking I'm gonna get in behind him and I'll call 911 and let the police know where we're going and where he's going," said Brutschy. Brutschy followed Babb to the Whitney Hotel's parking lot. "As soon as he (Babb) saw me on my cell phone, he started ramming the driver's side and I said this guy is desperate; he's gonna try and kill me," said Brutschy. It was then that Brutschy jumped out of his car. "I went ahead and broke out the glass and pulled him up and I think he got me one time in the head," said Brutschy. Brutschy says he held Babb in a headlock until Columbia police could arrive. "It's just a little miracle that it all worked out that way. That that man (Brutschy) came up at the right time and right place," said Wright. Brutschy says he was just doing what he had to, but Wright says he didn't have to and he's now her hometown hero. Babb, who is from Savannah, has been charged with Assault and Battery With Intent to Kill, and 3 counts of Armed Robbery. He is being held at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center, and a bond hearing is scheduled for later this week.

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