Police: Cabbie helped nab robbery suspect

August 5, 2009 3:27:51 PM PDT
Chicago police arrest two young men suspected of robbing another man and beating him with a chain early Wednesday morning in the city's Lakeview community. A cab driver is being praised for helping the officers catch one of the suspects.

The cabbie grabbed a suspect and held on to him until police officers arrived. Investigators say this happened near the CTA's Belmont Red Line station.

The victim is a 20-year-old student from Ireland who is visiting Chicago for the summer. He was beaten after he was pick-pocketed and then tried getting his wallet back. Cab driver Abdinasir Kahin drove up on all that -- he got out of his cab and tried catching one of the suspects.

Kahin works overnights on the North Side. Toward the end of his shift, early Wednesday morning, the 40-year-old turned down Fletcher, between Clark and Sheffield, and saw two men beating another in the middle of the street.

"One of them had a chain in his hand ... I could see blood flowing down the guy, the victim," Kahin said.

Police were on the scene almost immediately. Officers say the victim was a 20-year-old man who was pick-pocketed near the CTA station.

"One of the offenders picked his pocket, ran out of the Belmont el station. The victim wanted his wallet back and gave chase," said Officer Tim O'Brien, Chicago Police.

When the officers arrived, the two suspects fled. One was caught. The other, dressed in women's clothing, tried getting away, but Kahn would not let him.

"I faced him face to face. We started tackling each other, like wrestling each other," said Kahin.

He held the guy until police arrested him.

"I was frightened in a way, but I also thought I have an obligation to help the police officers apprehend these guys," Kahin said.

The officers thanked Kahin for a job well done, and while police are not expecting citizens to apprehend suspects, they do say it makes their job easier when the public helps.

"Obviously he put himself in a place where he could have been hurt. Luckily he wasn't. But we want people to get involved in some is way, even if it's calling 911," said Cmdr. Gary Tamashiroya, Chicago Police.

The cab driver said he is well aware of the recent robberies in Lincoln Park and said he felt it was his duty to help. He also said it's good for business, because if people are too scared to go outside, they're not going to catch cabs.

Charges are pending against the two suspects.


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