By Joseph Parziale and Paul DeBenedetto
DNAinfo.com New York Staff
The 28-year-old victim was cycling towards Brooklyn about 2:15 p.m. Monday when a man grabbed his handlebars, according to police and a report.
"Get off the bike, I need the bike," the man said, according to the website Animal New York. "I’ll cut your face."
According to the website, the suspect hopped on the $300 bike and headed back toward Delancey Street, as the victim, from Philadelphia, ran after him.
Two other cyclists were nearby on the bridge and saw the attempted bike robbery. One of the men, Ian Bell, 29, told DNAinfo.com New York that he and the other man cycled after the thief across the bridge.
"I just rode up next to him and grabbed him and threw him to the ground," Bell said. "We both went down."
"I was just really amped up," Bell added. "I was telling him, 'Don't f--king steal bikes!'"
Bell said he then stayed with the bike as the other cyclist, whom Bell would only identify as Charles, chased after the man. Charles snapped a photo of the alleged thief before he ducked into a subway, Bell said.
The two returned the bike to the grateful 28-year-old, who promised to treat the men to beers at a later date, Bell said.
Bell said he's had his bike stolen before, and he remembers the terrible feeling. So when he saw the attempted robbery, he said he had to step in.
"I'd like to think other bikers would look out for me," Bell said. "Anytime it can be prevented, that's a victory for cyclists in New York."
Police say the suspect is 40 to 50 years old, 5-foot-9 and 180 pounds.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.
All calls are strictly confidential.