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Caught on video: Portage Park business owner knocks gun out of robber's hand

Portage Park business owner wrestles gun away from would-be robber
Portage Park business owner wrestles gun away from would-be robber 02:20

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A business owner in the Portage Park neighborhood fought off a would-be robber, knocking the gun directly out of the robber's hands and chasing him out of his store.

The entire interaction was caught on surveillance video.

On Thursday, CBS 2's Marissa Perlman spoke with the store owner about why he decided he needed to take matters into his own hands.

It happened just after 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 12, At the Car Care Auto Spa, 3618 N. Cicero Ave. The suspect was seen on camera pacing outside of the business, but eventually, he ran right in through the unlocked front door.

The suspect pointed a gun at owner James Suh – who was at the register – and demanded money. That was when the owner used his own personal weapons training to protect himself and his business.

"All of a sudden, somebody's like, 'Give me all your money!'" Suh said. "I look up, and this guy's just right here in front of my face."

Suh took us back to that Wednesday evening earlier this month, when his surveillance cameras caught the terrifying moment he came face-to-face with a masked man with a gun.

"Even just talking about it now, I kind of like – almost like reliving the moment," Suh said. "I felt like kind of like the skin tingling on the back of my neck."

With a gun to Suh's face, the would-be robber demanded money.

"My hands are up, and I was like: 'Hey, you know, just take it easy, guy. You know, just stop. Just chill,'" Suh said.

Suh told the man he needed a key to open the cash register.

"He goes to like, rack his gun – and then as he's doing that, something kind of got stuck," Suh said.

Suh, who is a concealed carry permit holder, knew the suspect's slide was locked – and thus, the suspect wouldn't be able to open fire with his gun.

"I don't know where my mind was, but my mind was just on like grabbing that gun," Suh said.

Suh eventually ran around the counter and grabbed the man. The two men are seen on video tussling before Suh is able to pull the gun out of the man's hands.

The would-be robber eventually ran out of the store – leaving his weapon behind.

"I just went for it right there," Suh said.

This was the second attempted robbery at Suh's business in less than a month. Video from just two weeks prior on Sept. 27 shows a group of masked people in the garage trying to steal a car – while an employee was in the middle of washing it.

"Things are kind of finally coming back to where they were, and we're doing well, and then we have this unexpected setback that's just right there," Suh said.

The would-be robber's weapon was recovered on the floor and handed over to police. No one was in custody late Thursday.

Both police and Suh warn the public not to follow his example – saying his reaction could have made the situation more dangerous, and the story could have had a different ending.

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