Chicago business owner fights off armed robber at Portage Park car wash

ByMaher Kawash WLS logo
Friday, October 28, 2022
Chicago business owner fights off armed robber, grabs gun
Surveillance video shows a Portage Park, Chicago business owner fighting off an armed robber with a gun pointed in his face at Car Care Auto Spa.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Surveillance video shows a Portage Park business owner fighting off an armed robber at the Car Care Auto Spa EARLIER THIS MONTH.

"All of a sudden, it's just, 'hey give me all of your money," business owner James Suh said. "And I look up and this guy is pointing a gun right at me."

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Surveillance video shows Suh fighting off that attacker on October 12 while a gun is pointed right in his face.

"So frustrated and angry and you kinda feel helpless in that moment too," Suh said, "and I basically just did what I could in that situation."

Suh was alone in the shop, doing paper work and holding a virtual meeting behind the counter when the attacker entered around 7 p.m.

He tried de-escalating the situation at first as the man demanded money, until he noticed something with the suspect's gun.

"He kinda like tries to rack his gun and it looked to me like it got jammed, the slide was locked back," Suh said.

That's the moment Suh made his move.

"And so I reached out and grabbed it there, and the whole counter top was shifting," Suh said.

The struggle then continued on throughout the shop.

"I just grabbed him by the wrist and grabbed the gun, took it out of his hand," Suh said. "Once I got it out of his hand, I just wanted to shove him back and then he goes running out of here."

There are a number of surveillance cameras which helped police gather evidence against the suspect, but at this point, it has not led to an arrest.

The owner said he's never had problems with crime in the last decade of running this business, but admits times are changing when it comes to safety in Chicago.

"The prior week someone was trying to steal a car from here, and in 10 years' time that's never happened," Suh said. "And all of a sudden in two weeks' time, we have two of these major incidents and yeah, you just kinda wonder what's going on around here."

A nearby business, Bubble Bath Auto Shop, said it has also dealt with recent robbery attempts.

Employees said a car was stolen from there two weeks ago.

They couldn't speak on camera, but said it's a concerning trend for these businesses.

"It's unfortunate because it's just this risk of doing business and it seems like the risk is going up," Suh said.