Witnesses claimed the victim grabbed onto the robber's auto door handle as the vehicle accelerated and accidentally slammed his head against a parked auto, causing him to bleed profusely.
Maria Chan, who runs a flower shop across the street, described what she saw to CNN affiliate KGO.
The Oakland Fire Department gave immediate medical attention to the man before he was transported to a local hospital in critical condition. He was bleeding only from the head.
On Wednesday, the Oakland Police Department tweeted that they arrested two suspects.More news: Flu blamed for 2 local deaths as season’s peak arrives
The fatal incident was reminiscent of an August 2017 homicide in Oakland in which a local musician, Dave Deporis, chased after thieves who stole his laptop from a coffee shop and was dragged about 200 yards before he fell under the wheels of the getaway vehicle.
Police say the investigation is ongoing.
It was unclear whether there was a driver waiting in the vehicle, authorities said. It's not worth it to chase after the laptop'.
Jean Miller, who works in her salon near where the young man was struck, could see the victim's face was covered with blood. He was lifeless when I was standing there'.More news: Canada's captain Barrett Hayton leaves game vs. Finland
"When the suspect approached and took the laptop, the victim chased the suspects right around the corner", said Officer Johnna Watson, a spokeswoman for the Oakland Police Department. The victim continued to try to get the laptop back and at that time in the 6100 block of Antioch [street] the victim was critically injured.
Witnesses said they saw the victim attempt to get into the SUV, with one witness claiming the man did a "superman-type dive" into the auto.
Police looked at surveillance footage in the area. His identity has not been released.More news: Panthers get ready for matinee showdown with Sabres on Saturday afternoon