DAVIS -- Camilo Frias was working on his laptop at the Davis Starbucks on Research Park Drive Tuesday morning, when someone took his stuff and flew out the front door.
"Since I was closer to the getaway car, basically, I ran after it just thinking, like, I could get it back," Frias told FOX40 on Wednesday.
Being a teacher’s aide all of his lessons and dissertations for the semester, which weren't archived, were on that laptop.
"I didn’t even really think, I just kind of did it," Frias said.
So, he jumped into the waiting car with at least three men in their 20s inside. With the door partially open and Frias' legs hanging out of the car, the suspect took off with Frias inside.
"I was sort of dangling out of the door but saying, 'It’s a very old computer, it’s not probably worth that much money anymore. I really want to back,'" Frias recalled.
All the while, the suspects were punching Frias in the face.
"Yeah, they were being a bit rough," Frias said. "I also sensed, like, they weren't really trying to hurt me. I mean, they were kind of like girly punches so I thought, like, 'These guys are not that serious.'"
The suspects ended up turning around and driving back to Starbucks, where Frias got out of the car with his laptop.
"I was maybe trying too much, but then I said, 'Well, could you give me the other one too?'" Frias said.
But they did not.
"You know, that’s his decision to make," said Davis Police Lt. Paul Dorishov. "I certainly think it was brave of him to do."
Police say personal safety should be paramount and material things, such as laptops, are replaceable.
A day later, the ordeal has sunk in with Frias.
"You know, I have kids. It was not very responsible to do that when there are people that depend on me," he said. "In retrospect, maybe not the wisest decision to make but I sensed that it was sort of an amateurish-like robbery."
Police say this is an ongoing trend in Davis. While FOX40 was putting this story together Wednesday, a thief broke a news vehicle window and stole a camera, as well as a tripod. Investigators are looking into the connections between that theft and Tuesday morning's laptop theft.