Bartender who risked life to chase stabbing suspect talks

November 20, 2012 (CHICAGO)

"The way the person screamed to stop that person, it was bone chilling. It sets off an alarm in your head," he told WLS Radio.

Burner didn't think twice about going after the man who had just caused panic near the hotel restaurant. The two tangled in front of the Hancock Building.

Burner guessed he was a purse snatcher. Little did he know the man had a knife and was willing to use it.

"I went to stand up and that's when I realized that I had been stabbed in the chest because my shirt started feeling all warm, and I reached inside my vest, saw the hole inside my vest, felt all the wetness," he said.

Seconds later, police caught up to the suspect, Jimmy Harris, 56. He is now charged with attempted murder, accused of stabbing Oak Brook oncologist Dr. Mir Shah in the neck during a robbery in the men's room of the hotel after Shah and his family had watched the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival.

Harris is a career criminal who was paroled a week before Saturday night's attack.

"It just one of those that makes you cringe. It's like how is the person even allowed to be out on the street?" he said.

Burner says he hopes his actions helped get a dangerous man off the street. As for that word many are now using to describe him...

"I don't see it as me being a hero. I was just trying to stop an individual who was doing something wrong," he said.

Burner says in the chaos of the moment, he took a cab to Northwestern Memorial Hospital where he received stitches for stab wounds to the chest. In the emergency room, next to him was Dr. Shah whose wounds are more serious. He is expected to recover.

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