Cyclist who stopped mugger says bike is the hero

March 10, 2012 8:49:17 PM PST
A bicyclist tackled a mugger after he took the purse of a 75-year-old woman on Chicago's Northwest Side.

Eric Puetz rides his bike from his house in Arlington Heights to his Logan Square bike shop every day. Thursday night, as he was riding home, Puetz came across a mugging in progress.

"I heard a woman scream, I looked over and saw a person on top of her and attempting to wrestle something from her," Puetz said

Riding north on Milwaukee near Belmont, Puetz said he made the decision to follow the assailant as soon as he passed the woman.

"The victim was an elderly woman and I know the person I'm about to follow is a young male and that math doesn't add up in my book."

Puetz kept his distance waiting for a more public place to make his move and said, once the assailant realized he was being followed, threatened him, claiming he had a gun. A gun never materialized.

"I certainly increased the span, but kept him in sight to give myself more options in case that threat was real," he said. "Then I had my opportunity, I dismounted the bike, took him to the ground and held him for five minutes and police showed up promptly."

Police identify the assailant as 34-year-old Larry Bostic, who, as it turns out, was a couple of blocks from home when he was caught. Puetz said he would do it all again. He got to speak briefly with the woman he helped.

"She expressed her gratitude and said, thank God. Thank you. You're my savior."

Puetz said he is not the hero.

"The real thing that made this possible was the bike," he said. "I think we should nominate this bike as the hero."

Bostic is currently in jail, held on $300,000 bond. He is charged with one count of robbery.