iPhone Tracked Down, Man Beaten by Video Vigilantes

By Andrew Lu on January 11, 2013 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

An alleged iPhone thief got beaten up by the rightful owner of the phone. But with video footage of the assault, the victim of the theft could potentially find himself charged with a crime as well.

The iPhone's owner, Kenneth Schmidgall of San Diego, is not a man to mess with. This is especially true when it comes to his beloved digital device.

So when the 26-year-old lost his iPhone at a reggae concert, he and his roommate (who happens to be a freelance news photographer) set out on a mission to get it back, reports The Huffington Post.

They also brought along a videocamera.

Schmidgall and his roommate Greg Torkelson used the Find My iPhone app to track down the missing iPhone. The app led them to an unidentified man who was riding his bike by the beach. The pair noticed that every time the app indicated the iPhone had stopped moving, the guy on the bike stopped moving too, reports HuffPo.

Certain that they had their man, Schmidgall confronted him on camera; he appears to have tackled the man and taken several wild punches. As Schmidgall and the man traded blows, Torkelson reportedly pepper-sprayed the suspected thief.

You can see the video in this report by San Diego's KGTV:

Police eventually showed up and took the alleged thief away, and Schmidgall was rewarded with the return of his iPhone. However, Schmidgall's happy reunion may be short-lived as he could potentially face assault charges for his vigilante tactics.

Regardless of how deserving the beating may have been, it's questionable whether Schmidgall was in the right to jump out of his car, corner the man, and then engage in a beach brawl. Schmidgall could have just waited for law-enforcement officers to arrive, since he'd already taken the trouble to call the cops.

Instead, he and his roommate took the proactive route and even pepper-sprayed the alleged thief. What if they had gotten the wrong person? So far, however, no criminal charges have been brought against Schmidgall or his roommate.

Related Resources:

Copied to clipboard