University of Chicago student grabs gun from armed robber; 2 other students robbed nearby | VIDEO

Chicago police issue warning for 3 additional robberies last month in Hyde Park

ByMaher Kawash and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Thursday, April 18, 2024
University of Chicago student grabs gun from armed robber
A University of Chicago college student was caught on video grabbing a gun from a robber. Other students were also robbed near the Hyde Park campus.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Multiple students were robbed near the campus of the University of Chicago Wednesday afternoon.

One of the robberies was captured on surveillance video just before 3 p.m. Wednesday near 56th Street and South University, as a student was walking back to her apartment.

The University of Chicago issued a safety alert Wednesday after three students were robbed just minutes apart, either on or near the Hyde Park campus.

I'm able to get my hands on the gun... and remove the magazine on the gun, and I toss it into the bush,
Maddi, UChicago student robbery victim

The first robbery happened around 2:50 p.m. the 5600 block of South University. Two students were walking when four armed suspects ran up and demanded property, the University of Chicago Police Department said. Those suspects then got into a black Infiniti car and drove off.

Five minutes later, another student was robbed while walking off-campus in the 1300 block of East 56th Street. Two armed suspects demanded property before getting into a four-door black vehicle and driving off. None of the students were hurt in either incident.

The block of University Avenue where the robberies happened is one of the busiest on campus.

The student who was robbed and seen on video struggling with the offender, Maddi, spoke with ABC7 about the experience.

"I was just walking home from class and I see a man in a mask approach me," Maddi said. "And he kind of comes towards me and I think to myself, 'just keep walking,' but then we have an altercation."

She can be seen on video turning to others nearby, apparently asking for help. The suspect can be seen snatching Maddi's phone, and that's when she fights back, trying to grab his weapon.

"I'm able to get my hands on the gun... and remove the magazine on the gun, and I toss it into the bush," Maddi said.

A few seconds later, the offender can be seen moving toward her again, but she manages to run away.

SEE ALSO | Police issue alert after multiple armed robberies near University of Chicago campus

Her attacker then comes back to search for the magazine, and gets into a dark-colored sedan and takes off with his getaway driver.

Maddi said she's thankful she wasn't hurt.

"I think fight definitely kicked in, but I'm in no way advocating of resisting armed robbery," Maddi said. "I think it was really not the right decision looking back on it."

Maddi said she usually feels safe walking around campus, and she's hoping the evidence from the robbery will help lead to arrests.

"I don't blame the campus...I don't blame the bystander...I don't blame the police ... they did a great job," Maddi said. "I think it's just finding the people who did this attack, because they will do it again."

There's certainly a concern among all the students we talked to today that these robberies happened in broad daylight.

No one was hurt in any of the incidents, but students living on campus said the recent rise in robberies has them on edge.

"Normally it doesn't happen on campus," U of C junior Michel Angelo Pagan said. "It happens to people walking back to apartments off campus, so the fact that it's getting closer and closer to the central hub of where students are is very concerning."

Police continue to look for suspects.

The University of Chicago Police Department said they will increase patrols in the area.

SEE ALSO | Chicago robberies: 3 Loyola University students robbed at gunpoint on campus, school says

The Chicago Police Department issued their own warning Thursday for recent armed robberies in Hyde Park.

In addition to the college student robbed on Wednesday, three separate robberies happened in March, Chicago police said.

The other robberies happened in the 5500 block of South Blackstone Avenue on March 16 at 10 p.m.; in the 5400 block of South Kimbark Avenue on March 17 at 11:05 p.m.; and in the 5700 block of South Kimbark Avenue on March 30 at 11:15 p.m.

In each robbery, a group of two to four armed offenders exited a vehicle a stole a victim's phone, police said.

The string of robberies in CPD's alert were not immediately connected to robbery of two students in the 5600 block of South University, mentioned in the University of Chicago's alert.

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