LEOMINSTER (CBS) – What are the chances? That’s all Esther Rios could think on Monday as she stood feet away from the man who had mugged her only days before, “I’m like oh my God, oh my God. It can’t be.”
Rios says Saturday night Malek E. Matos jumped her at knife-point. “He said to give him my purse or he will kill me and if I say anything or scream he will kill me.”
Inside her bag a measly 0.17 cents but more importantly he made off with her checkbook, credit cards and license.
WBZ-TV’s Diana Perez reports
So on Monday she headed to the Leominster RMV to replace her stolen ID. While there, smoking a cigarette, the very man who had mugged her walked right up and started making small talk. “All of a sudden he asked me for a cigarette,” she says.
Rios knew his face and voice immediately but she kept her cool, even handing him a lighter. Then she snapped a picture of him while faking a phone call, “I didn’t want him to know I’m nervous, I’m scared.”
Matos never recognized his victim which gave officers time to show up and cuff him after Rios asked a clerk to call police.
She says the thought of him attacking other women gave her the courage to remain calm, “And I’m like ‘I can’t let him go, I got to do it.’”
Matos faced a judge on Tuesday and was charged with armed robbery. It’s unclear why he was at the RMV.