Eric Puetz, Suburban Chicago Bicyclist, Chases Down Man He Saw Mug Elderly Woman
An Arlington Heights, Ill., bicyclist who witnessed a man robbing an elderly woman while he was biking home from work along a Chicago street helped police nab the alleged culprit after he chased after the man on his bike.
But Eric Puetz, 51, who bikes the 21 miles between the Logan Square bicycle shop where he works and his suburban home daily, isn't having any of the talk of his being a "hero" for chasing after Larry Bostic, 34, Thursday evening. Bostic, has been charged with robbery and ordered held in lieu of a $300,000 bond in the incident, the Chicago Tribune reports.
"I had no option when I passed the victim and I saw she was an elderly woman. I had to do it," Puetz told CBS Chicago of the incident. "She was everybody's grandmother."
Puetz says he was biking in the 3200 block of North Milwaukee on the city's Northwest Side when he heard a woman scream from the sidewalk and saw that a man had pushed her to the ground in an attempt to wrestle her purse away from her, according to ABC Chicago.
He then proceeded to follow the man through a parking lot and a series of alleys on his bicycle, keeping a safe distance away until he reached a more public place, ABC reports. Once the suspect realized he was being followed, he threatened Puetz that he was carrying a gun.
About two blocks away from the initial purse-snatching, in a parking lot bear Belmont and Karlov avenues, Puetz called out for someone to call police and then, with the help of another man, tackled Bostic to the ground. They held him there until cops arrived on the scene, the Daily Herald reports.
Chicago Police News Affairs Officer John Mirabelli told the Herald that, while Puetz's effort was "an incredible act of courage," the department does not encourage individuals to chase after people in circumstances such as a robbery or other crimes.
Nevertheless, Puetz told the Tribune that the "young lady" who had been robbed was very appreciative of his actions when he met her briefly at the police station.