PHOTOS: Restaurant owner wrestles suspect to the ground in Lincoln Park

ByJade Hernandez WLS logo
Thursday, March 12, 2015

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Lee Varon, co-owner of a wrestling-themed restaurant in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood, took down a man who employees said was acting strangely. And a surveillance camera captured the entire incident.

Varon and his wife, former professional wrestler Lisa Marie Varon, own The Squared Circle.

Around 9:30 p.m. Saturday, one of the servers told Varon a young man acted "odd" when she asked if he was OK. He then walked into the women's bathroom.

The young man then walked into the kitchen and ran into Lee Varon. He told Varon men with guns were chasing him and turned to go back into the front of the restaurant.

"He was combative with me, so I kind of went to get up on him. He was reaching into his pants, and so I grabbed him. You can see from the video. I thought he was just trying to get away from me. But what he was doing was going into his pants. It took me 15 seconds to figure out. He was going into his pants for what I thought was a weapon," Varon said.

The video shows Varon wrestling the suspect to the ground while someone else called police. A short time later, the man was taken into custody.

Police identified the young man as Arnez Harper, 18. He was charged with possession of a controlled substance, battery, aggravated assault and unlawful use of a weapon.

At 5'5" and weighing about 115 lbs., Harper was no match for Varon, who stands at 6'2" and weighs about 260 lbs.

Arnez Harper, 18.
Chicago Police Department

Arnez Harper, 18. (Chicago Police Department)