Intended victims fight back during cellphone robbery, killing would-be thief

A would-be robber was killed in New Jersey when his intended victims fought back, police say.

Gian Davis, 30, approached two college students around 1:30 a.m. Saturday and asked to use a cellphone so he could call a cab, the Star-Ledger of Newark reports.

One of the students said he would make the call for Davis, who then asked to shake the student’s hand in thanks, according to the paper. But Davis instead grabbed the phone and hit one of the students in the head.

One of the men lunged to get the phone back and Davis put him in a headlock, according to NBC New York. Then, law-enforcement sources say the other man, a former high school wrestler, pulled Davis off his friend and put the would-be robber in a headlock.

The student was able to subdue Davis by "placing a hold with both arms to restrain the suspect from further injuring his friend," according to a police report obtained by the Star-Ledger.

Once Davis was in the hold, the two students called authorities.

Officers who responded to the call took Davis to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

Davis had prior arrests for aggravated assault and theft, according to NBC New York. He was released from his last stint in jail on July 22.

Click for more on this story from the Star-Ledger of Newark