A father listened in horror on a mobile phone as his daughter was attacked by muggers using CS spray.
Jon Stevens was rushing to pick up 24-year-old Anna after she was abandoned in a dark inner city street by a private hire car driver.
As he drove Mr Stevens kept her on the line so he would know she was safe.
But he was unable to do anything as he heard her let out a terrified scream.
Mr Stevens, a 58-year-old housing association director from Selly Park, Birmingham, said: "She told me about two men coming towards her and then I heard her scream.
"All sorts of things were going through my mind and I thought the worst. I stopped the car and rang 999."
Mr Stevens had to listen as the two men pounced on Anna and sprayed tear gas in her eyes before snatching her bag and pulling her to the ground.
Fine arts graduate Anna had found herself on Icknield Port Road after a private hire cab forced her from the car when she realised cash had been stolen from her handbag and she did not have enough money for the trip to her city centre apartment.
She had been to a party near Edgbaston Reservoir.
She said: " It seems unreal. I've been in shock. What happened is only just beginning to come back to me. I didn't know where I was when it happened and they just sprayed this stuff at me, I thought it was acid."
She was rescued by a firefighters from Ladywood Station who heard her scream.
Mr Stevens said: " Luckily within moments of my call the police rang back to say she had been found and was at the fire station."
Although temporarily blinded, Anna suffered no lasting physical injuries.
A police spokesman said that it is unusual for CS spray to be used in street robberies and called for any witnesses to come forward and help catch the attackers, who struck in the early hours of Sunday.
The first offender is white, aged 20 to 25, about 5ft 9ins to 6ft, stocky and wore dark clothing.
His accomplice was also white, aged 20 to 25, about 5ft 9ins, slim, with dark clothing, carrying a white bag or jumper.