Workers Honored For Protecting Customers In Mr. Submarine Attack

CHICAGO (CBS) — Two brothers working at a Mr. Submarine shop in the Beverly neighborhood are being hailed as heroes, for protecting a couple who were attacked in the drive-through lane.

Mark Ziolek, 34, and his girlfriend Tina Coconate, were at the drive-through window for the Mr. Submarine at 10509 S. Western Ave. early Saturday morning, when they were jumped by three attackers.

But security video footage of the brutal and unprovoked attack in the early hours of Sunday morning shows Mr. Sub employee Ernesto Romero reach his arm out of the drive-through window and pin one of the attackers against the outside of the restaurant. Romero and his brother Agustin rushed outside and helped defend the couple.

Ziolek and Coconate came back to thank the workers Thursday.

“I probably would have been knocked unconscious if they hadn’t helped,” said Ziolek, 34, as he nursed two black eyes Thursday.

He said the attackers demanded he give them his sandwich and money, threatened his girlfriend, then jumped on the roof of his car and attacked him and Coconate as they stopped for a roast beef sandwich on the way home from a benefit for Mother McAuley High School. The attackers “would have gotten away before the police came,” without the Romeros’ help, he added.

The brothers’ bravery came as no surprise to their manager, Dan Tzoumas, who said the attack “made no sense.”

Ald. Ginger Rugai (19th) plans to honor the brothers’ heroism with a certificate signed by the rest of the City Council, her spokeswoman Mary Beth Waller said.

But Agustin Romero said, “We’d do it for anyone — three guys against one isn’t right.”

Police arrested the attackers – Conor Heffernan, 24, of Chicago; William Butler, 20, of Chicago, and Robert Heffernan, 20, of Kalamazoo, Mich., at the scene. All three men were each charged with two counts of misdemeanor battery and one count of misdemeanor criminal damage to property, police News Affairs Officer Robert Perez said.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

  • annie k

    I would have stepped on the gas and ran then over. You had a weapon better than a gun–the car!!

    • Paul

      @ Annie, I would also have used my car without any hesitation whatsoever. It would be extreme pleasure to break their bones and listen to them scream in pain !!!!

  • Edward Calderon

    All three men were each charged with two counts of MISDEMEANOR battery and one count of misdemeanor criminal damage to property ???? Talk about the system lol That is why we have so much crime .They should be charge for a felony.Im sure they will be back in the streets soon and maybe rob and kill .

    • Fast Ed

      My thoughts as well. Misdemeanor????? W T F!

  • Jim

    I don’t know what the immigration status is for the workers, but it seems to me, their behavior has earned them the right to citizenship. Excellent job guys. As for the three black gangsters, 43 years in prison with no parol. The first step to fixing our black homie problem.

    • NWA

      The attackers were not African-American. I have a solution for your black homie problem though. Let them procreate with your mother. Maybe they’ll create a better child then you.


      • Gene

        @NWA, You are truly a sick, twisted individual.

  • iHateWhitePeople

    HA!!! @ NWA!!!


    I think obama said that once iHaTEWhitePeople,is that were you got your name from BOY?

  • Justice...

    Hard working Romero Brothers…..good for them.

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