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State Sen. Napoleon Harris Fights Off Muggers, Helps Catch Murder Suspects

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A south suburban state lawmaker appears to have played a role in the capture of three murder suspects from Georgia after being the victim of a mugging earlier this month.

State Sen. Napoleon Harris (D-Harvey) owns two Beggars Pizza franchises in Oak Forest and Harvey; and decided to give his "overwhelmed" delivery crew a break late one night earlier this month, according to his spokesman Sean Howard.

Harris was trying to make a delivery at a house on 158th and Paulina in Harvey, but Howard said the whole order had been a ruse, and that four men attacked the senator when he arrived at the vacant house, which is up for sale.

Howard said the attackers didn't count on the victim getting the better of them.

"This wasn't the average 5-foot-9 delivery guy," Howard said.

Harris, 37, is 6-foot-3, 250 pounds, and is also a former star linebacker for the Northwestern Wildcats, and played seven seasons in the NFL for the Minnesota Vikings, Kansas City Chiefs and the Oakland Raiders.

"They put a chokehold on the senator, but to no avail. They were really trying to choke him to death, and he was just too strong. He out-powered all four of them," Howard said. "As they were all beating on him, one guy just went out of his way and really hit him hard, and Napoleon never moved. He just looked at him like Hulk Hogan, and from that the guys knew that we better get out of here, because we can't get this guy down."

Howard is also spokesman for the Harvey Police Department, and said Harris called 911 and followed the muggers' Chevy Tahoe from a distance after the mugging. Harris let police know where the truck was going.

The attackers eventually abandoned the Tahoe at a lumber yard in South Holland and escaped, but, Howard said crime scene investigators found blood inside the back of the truck, which was registered to a man who had been reported missing in Fulton County, Georgia. That man was later found dead in Georgia, and the blood in the truck was his.

Using evidence they had, as well as a description of Harris' attackers, police knew who they were looking for. Howard said two of them were arrested in Georgia as they exited a Megabus from the Chicago area. A third man was arrested at the mental institution he checked himself into after arriving back in Georgia.

Harris' fourth attacker has not yet been charged. Howard said that suspect is from Gary, Indiana, and was held for 72 hours before being released. Howard said charges from the attack are expected against that suspect.

Howard said Harris is a licensed concealed carry holder but did not have his gun with him at the time, because he had been driving his children around earlier and did not like having his gun in the car when they were with him.

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