CHICAGO — A good Samaritan said he jumped into action after realizing another rider was robbing people at gunpoint on a CTA Blue Line train in Chicago before Sunday’s marathon.
As the train stopped at Cumberland, Jean Paul LaPierre stepped off and asked another commuter why marathoners seemed to be rushing for the doors.
“I said ‘this doesn’t seem like the right way.’ He said ‘No, there’s a guy on the train walking around right now robbing people.’ That kind of made me mad,” LaPierre said.
He decided to head back onto the train and confront the man entirely on his own. LaPierre grappled with the the robber and held him against the side of the train, pulling the gun from his hand in the process, WGN reports.
What happened next was caught on video by a passenger still on the train.
The suspect yells at LaPierre to let him go, but he refuses.
“I’m not letting you go! I’m not letting you go! I’m not letting you go!”
“I’m a boxer. I’ll break your head in one punch,” he says in the video.
In town from the Boston area where he runs a storage facility, the 54-year-old said he’s used to tough guys. Golden Gloves boxing in his youth armed him for this encounter.
A marathon runner who was threatened moments earlier said she’s thankful LaPierre was there.
“He didn’t hesitate to step in at all. It was incredible to see; because everyone else just sat there frozen,” she said.
After pulling the gun from the alleged robber’s hand, LaPierre handed it off to another passenger. He said the man had friends on the train who tried to intimidate him into letting him go, but he held on until police arrived.
“They started threatening me but I just stood in his face. The guy kept saying to me, ‘It’s just a gun, let me go, let me go.’ I kept telling him, ‘you’re not going anywhere,’” LaPierre said.
“It don’t matter,” the suspect says in the video.
“It matters to me,” LaPierre replies.
According to police, 30-year old Tremaine Anderson is charged with one felony count of robbery with a firearm.
He has a long history of prior arrests, including attempted robbery, battery and public indecency. A judge ordered him held without bond.
LaPierre said he went on to run his 12th Chicago Marathon, although he admits he’s a “bandit,” meaning he sometimes runs without registering and paying.
And despite the stand-off on the CTA, LaPierre says he loves Chicago.
“It’s one of the best cities I’ve ever visited. Incidents happen all over. It is what it is, you know?!” LaPierre said.