CHICAGO — A good Samaritan said he jumped into action after realizing another rider was robbing people at gunpoint on a CTA Blue Line train in Chicago before Sunday's marathon.
As the train stopped at Cumberland, Jean Paul LaPierre stepped off and asked another commuter why marathoners seemed to be rushing for the doors.
“I said, 'This doesn’t seem like the right way,'" LaPierre said. "He said, ‘No, there’s a guy on the train walking around right now robbing people.' That kind of made me mad."
He decided to head back onto the train and confront the man entirely on his own. LaPierre grappled with the robber and held him against the side of the train, pulling the gun from his hand in the process, WGN reported.
What happened next was caught on camera by a passenger still on the train.
The attacker yelled at LaPierre to let him go, but he refused.
“I’m not letting you go! I’m not letting you go! I’m not letting you go! I’m a boxer. I’ll break your head in one punch,” he said in the video.
In town from the Boston area where he runs a storage facility, the 54-year-old said he’s used to tough guys. Golden Gloves boxing in his youth armed him for this encounter.
A marathon runner who was threatened moments earlier said she was thankful LaPierre was there.
“He didn’t hesitate to step in at all," she said. "It was incredible to see because everyone else just sat there frozen."
After pulling the gun from the alleged robber's hand, LaPierre handed it off to another passenger. He said the man had friends on the train who tried to intimidate him into letting him go, but he held on until police arrived.
“They started threatening me, but I just stood in his face," LaPierre said. "The guy kept saying to me, 'It’s just a gun, let me go, let me go.' I kept telling him, 'You’re not going anywhere.'"
“It don’t matter,” the attacker said in the video.
“It matters to me,” LaPierre replied.
According to police, 30-year old Tremaine Anderson was charged with one felony counts of robbery with a firearm.
He has a long history of prior arrests, including attempted robbery, battery, and public indecency. A judge ordered him held without bond.
LaPierre said he went on to run his 12th Chicago Marathon, although he admitted he's a “bandit,” meaning he sometimes runs without registering and paying, and despite the stand-off on the CTA, LaPierre said he loves Chicago.
“It’s one of the best cities I’ve ever visited," he said. "Incidents happen all over. It is what it is, you know?"