She was born with the last name of Peace, but anything but that befell the young mother Monday night as she was walking to catch a SEPTA trolley at the 69th Street Terminal.
Samara Peace, 18, of Sharon Hill, was carrying her 7-month-old daughter, Samya, close to her chest when, about 11 p.m., a young man later identified by police as Carlos C. Boothe, 19, of Upper Darby, approached her on Lennox Road near Penncock Avenue and asked for her phone number, she said.
At the same time, a larger male, identified by police as Demetrius J. Batts, 19, of Philadelphia, walked around her and into a nearby alley, Peace said.
When she refused to give Boothe her phone number, he demanded that Peace hand over her purse, according to police.
"I wasn't trying to fight him, but it [my purse] wasn't coming off easy," she said.
When he couldn't steal her purse immediately, Boothe allegedly swung at Peace but hit her baby's head first, slamming the child's head into hers, she said.
Peace said she and Boothe exchanged several punches before he was able to grab her purse and run into what police determined was his own home just a few feet away on Penncock Avenue near Lennox Road. It was there that Batts stood, holding open the door for Boothe as he ran in, Peace said.
"I wasn't scared because I blanked out," she said.
Peace said she and her baby were not seriously harmed and she was able to go to a friend's house to call police.
Peace said, in the aftermath of the attack, that she had more of a fight than flight response.
"I kept calling for them to come back because I wanted to fight," she said.
Instead, Peace was able to point police to Boothe's home where more than a half-dozen Upper Darby officers found the men inside with the same clothes on that they were said to be wearing during the alleged attack, Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood said.
Both were arrested and charged with several counts each of robbery, simple assault, theft, recklessly endangering another person and related offenses.
At an afternoon news conference yesterday, Peace saw mug shots of her assailants for the first time.
"They're big . . . too big to be touching me," she said. "I'm lucky. I just thought they were regular young boys doing something stupid."
Chitwood said they were far from regular boys. Both "scumbags," he said, have lengthy arrest records, including drug charges, robberies, thefts and assaults.
Each remains in the Delaware County jail on $100,000 bail.
Peace's purse was found in a trashbag at the rear of a house next to Boothe's, Chitwood said. About $10 was missing, Peace said.
Chitwood, who said that "a lot of street robberies" occur in Upper Darby, praised Peace for her bravery.
"Unfortunately, if you are victimized in society, this is the kind of victim you want," he said. "I think this is a very, very courageous young lady." *