Caught on video: Jiujitsu instructor stepped in, pinned suspected thief at Ravenswood convenience store


Chicago (CBS) – The video shows a Good Samaritan coming to the aid of a store clerk during last week’s attack on the city’s North Side.

As CBS 2’s Germont Terry reported Monday night, the attacker didn’t know that the Good Samaritan also happens to be a jiujitsu trainer.

Supreme Jiu-Jitsu Academy Located on Lincoln Avenue to the northwest of the intersection with Halstead Street and Fullerton Avenue. Owner Idriz Radzovi enjoys teaching the young people the art of self-defense.

But last week, while at 7-Eleven at 1532 W. Lawrence Avenue east of Ashland Avenue in the Ravenswood community, Radzovic needed to put those skills into action.

“I came in here and took him to the ground,” Radzovic said.

Surveillance video shows a man punching an employee – and within a flash, Radzovic jumps up.

Radzovic said the trouble started even before the man punched the worker.

“This woman went outside to complain about a man harassing her,” he said.

At 10:15 pm on Thursday, June 16, police said the suspected burglar entered 7-Eleven and proceeded to collect food items and tried to leave without paying. Police said the 19-year-old store clerk did not reach the thief at that time.

But the same man later broke into 7-Eleven again and was asked to leave – at which point he punched the clerk, police said.

Soon after, Radzovic placed her in a jiujitsu “gift hold”.

“Hey homie, let me go,” the man is heard saying.

“No,” Radzovic tells him. “You pounced on those dudes.”

The suspected thief quickly discovers the power of a third-degree blackbelt. Four days after the incident, Radzovic showed us how Take and Hold works.

“I controlled, and I wrapped his hands – so I’m safe and he’s safe,” Radzovic explained.

Using the hold, Radzovic took the man into custody – but never cut his airway. The suspected thief can also be heard speaking in the video.

“I wasn’t sitting on it,” Radzovic said. “I put my foot up, and if you notice, there’s no weight on it.”

So why did Radzovic choose to join?

“I feel it is my duty as a human being on this plant to help another human being in danger,” he said. “It could have happened in two ways. The employee could even take him downstairs and pat him in the face and beat him up.”

Despite rapid takedowns and holds, Radzovic never hurt or hurt the man. He held on to the suspected thief until the police arrived 13 minutes later.

And with so many people at arms making split-second decisions, Radzovic had a warning.

“You don’t take out your gun until you think the guy is about to pull the trigger—unless your life is in danger,” he said.

Christopher Cruz, 30, was arrested and charged with one each of battery and retail theft. Radzovic hopes the suspected thief has learned something too.

“If he sees it, it could be a wake-up call for the man to change his life,” he said.

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