A well-known voice to many metro radio listeners was confined to a hospital room for hours after a vicious attack left WCCO radio host Steve Murphy injured in an early-morning mugging.
"I had just jogged down 53rd Street and I could see the headlights behind me," Murphy recalled.
In more than 30 years on the job, Murphy has covered countless crime stories for WCCO; however, he never imagined he'd be the subject of one.
"Noticed an older-model white SUV had stopped, driver got out and headed towards me -- then, I knew I was about to robbed, assaulted," Murphy told Fox 9 News.
Murphy said he was jogging to catch the bus to work at 2:30 a.m. on Thursday morning just like he always does when he first saw the white SUV pass him about 3 blocks from his home.
"I thought at the time, 'If I see him again, I'm in trouble,'" Murphy explained. "I was."
Even though Murphy changed his route, the SUV caught up with him at the corner of East 53rd Street and 13th Avenue South, right next to the fenced play area at Hale Elementary School.
"I thought, 'This is it. After all the times I've avoided being accosted, it's going to happen to me now and I don't know how it's going to turn out,'" Murphy remembered.
Murphy's intuition proved correct. The occupants of the SUV certainly were trouble, and Murphy was their target.
"He tackled me from behind, put me in a choke hold and put my arm behind me," Murphy said of his assailant. "Then, to an accomplice I couldn't see, he said, 'Get it! Get it!'"
Murphy said he knew his attackers were after his wallet, so he took it out. The crooks quickly snatched it and moved on.
"They were gone in a flash," Murphy said.
Despite being bloody and bruised, Murphy still made it to the bus stop on Chicago Avenue.
"The worst part of it was how scary it was," Murphy reflected. "The attacker had me in a headlock, choking me, and I could not breathe."
The bus driver took Murphy to HCMC, where doctors treated a nasty cut on his forehead as well as a contusion to his chest wall.
"I'm much better now. I've had 5 days to heal from this attack," Murphy said.
From now on, Murphy plans to drive to work instead of jogging to the bus stop in the middle of the night; however, he says what happened to him could happen anywhere.
"I refuse to believe this is the norm, that this is an unsafe neighborhood," he clarified. "I think it's a safe neighborhood, just an unsafe time."
Murphy added that he believes at least one of his attackers may be involved in a string of similar crimes that occurred in the northern suburbs later in the day, and he is working with police to see if there is a link.
KDFW FOX 4
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