School boy fights off muggers

A Paul Roos scholar fought off a mugger who attempted to steal his phone on the northern line train from Stellenbosch to Cape Town on Friday.

Rain Carstens, 16, was listening to music when the mugger approached him on the train.

“I was listening to some trance on my headphones and I saw this guy come and stand next to me. I could feel him staring at me so I looked up from my game, I was playing Candy Crush, and then he just snatched my phone from my hands,” said Carstens.

Once the mugger had grabbed the phone, he ran for the open doors as the train had halted at the Goodwood station for passengers to disembark. Carstens acted quickly and grabbed the assailant, shoving him into the wall of the cabin.

“I knew he was trying to get out to get away so I grabbed him by the collar and pushed him into the opposite corner [of the cabin]. I told him to give my phone back while I held him against the wall.”

One of the mugger’s accomplices approached with a nonchalant style and told Carstens that the mugger would hand him his phone back if he let him go. Carstens refused.

David Gbukuma, a well-built fellow traveler sitting next to Carstens, also stood up to the assailants.

“When these guys got on the train they were smoking and I knew they were trouble. When the guy took his [Carstens] phone, I stood up and pointed at the muggers and said ‘Give his phone back now!’”

The mugger, seeing that he was outnumbered by the cabin of commuters and under the threat of a burly Gbukuma, handed Carstens his smartphone and jumped out of the doors, still open at the Goodwood station.

The assailants embarked on the train at the Parow station and two of the three assailants were wearing red shirts.

A shaking yet smiling Carstens said, “I had him in a good lock…I don’t play rugby but I gym so it was nice to use it once in a while.”

Carstens takes the Northern line train every weekend from Stellenbosch to Cape Town to visit his mother in Claremont. This was the first time he was involved in an attempted mugging on the train.

This comes after an increase in train fees in July of this year in order to increase security and efficiency on the trains.