One clever Columbia University student countered a shameful hustle with some hustle of his own, and he ended up nabbing a scammer who tried to sell him counterfeit tickets to the Sweet Sixteen games at Madison Square Garden.
The New York Post reports on the story of a 20-year-old finance major at Columbia who headed to Madison Square Garden for the first time to see the Sweet Sixteen doubleheader. He saw a Craigslist ad shopping two tickets for $210 each, which were pretty cheap for an event with record-breaking ticket prices. Still, the student, who did not want to be bought the tickets for him and a buddy. When they tried to use the tickets at the gate, they were turned away.
Thinking quickly, the friends made a plan to snag the swindler. They had his phone number and called him back to say they needed two more tickets.
Once they met up with the seller again, the man at first didn't recognize the Columbia student and his friend. But then he showed the scammer the fake ticket and demanded his money back. The thief reached into his pocket as if to grab something but then turned and ran.
The student, a track standout, chased after the swindler.
“I was running after him screaming, ‘Help! Help!’ ” the student told the Post. “He was much bigger than me. But I got him.”
The student was assisted by a pedestrian who helped corral the thief as he ran away. Together the pedestrian and the student held the swindler down some 17 blocks away from Madison Square Garden until police came. They arrested Lionel Moye, 23, and charged him with possession of a forged instrument and assault for allegedly biting the man who helped hold him down.