A downtown man avoided being mugged by an armed robber early Sunday morning on South Bedford Street after running away from the suspect.

Madison Police Department spokesperson Joel DeSpain said a man with a handgun approached the 33-year-old victim in the middle of the block on the west side of South Bedford Street between Main Street and Doty Street. The victim said something to the robber and quickly ran off in the opposite direction, DeSpain said.

DeSpain said the victim saw the suspect enter a red SUV, possibly a Jeep Cherokee, after the incident but was unsure as to whether he got into the passenger or driver seat.

“People have to use their own discretion in these situations,” DeSpain said. “Typically we encourage people to hand over whatever it is the robber or mugger is asking for and not put themselves in a situation where they might get hurt.”

The victim did not give the robber any money in this case and turned out to be OK, DeSpain said. He said the moment the victim felt he could run away from the robber, he did.

Police do not have any leads on the suspect at this time. DeSpain said it can be difficult to identify suspects in these crimes because only a minimal description is available with no forensic evidence. Surveillance footage from the area and public information, however, can help identify a suspect, he said.

The victim did not report the crime until Sunday afternoon, a police report said. DeSpain said the victim was in shock after the incident and was unsure of what to do. It was not until later when friends encouraged him to notify the police that he chose to do so, DeSpain said. He said there is no reason to not believe the victim.

“We advise people to call immediately because there is a better chance to apprehend the suspect if you call quickly,” DeSpain said.