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National Guardsman Nabs Robbers At Subway Station

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Army National Guard Spc. Paville N. Simpson thwarted an iPhone robbery at the North/Clybourn station on the CTA Red Line on Jan. 7, 2012. (Credit: CBS)

Army National Guard Spc. Paville N. Simpson thwarted an iPhone robbery at the North/Clybourn station on the CTA Red Line on Jan. 7, 2012. (Credit: CBS)

Vince Gerasole Vince Gerasole
Vince Gerasole serves as a general assignment reporter for CBS 2...
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CHICAGO (CBS) – A National Guardsman going to his job as a security guard single-handedly apprehended three robbers at a CTA subway station on Saturday, after they stole another passenger’s iPhone.

“I’m not a hero. I was just [in the] right place [at the] right time,” Army National Guard Spc. Simpson said.

As CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole reports, the three teenagers who stole the iPhone at a North Side subway station were arrested after Simpson, a military police officer with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 404th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade in Chicago, held them at the scene until police arrived.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Conway reports

The place was the North/Clyborn subway station on the CTA Red Line at about 6:30 p.m. Saturday, when he saw three teens were running away from a robbery victim.

“Tons of people were there, so someone could have helped him, no matter who it was, but no one bothered to,” Simpson said.

At the time, Simpson, 21, was dressed in his uniform as an armed security guard. He was flagged down by the man who said the teens had just taken his iPhone.

“I asked him ‘What did they have on?’ He said one of them has a gun,” Simpson said.

In spite of that danger, Simpson ran up the stairs and caught up to two of the suspects and handcuffed them together. When Simpson chased after and caught the third suspect, the teen reached for what looked like his own weapon.

“I pushed back and I drew my weapon … and, you know, he just said ‘Please don’t shoot me. It’s not a gun, it’s a lighter,’” Simpson said.

donte jackson 0108 National Guardsman Nabs Robbers At Subway Station

Donte Jackson, 17, was one of three people charged with trying to rob a CTA passenger of his iPhone on Jan. 7, 2012. A national guardsman thwarted the robbery attempt. The other two suspects were charged as juveniles. (Credit: Chicago Police Department)

The third suspect, 17-year-old Donte Jackson, was charged with aggravated attempted robbery now is 17 year old Donte Jackson. Two other two suspects, both 16, were charged as juveniles.

Through it all, Simpson said he continued to think of Sally Katona-King, the 68-year old woman who died after being pushed down a flight of stairs at the Fullerton ‘L’ stop by someone who just robbed an iPhone from another CTA passenger.

Though he was congratulated by his colleagues in the National Guard on Sunday, Simpson said he deserves no special recognition.

“The real heroes are people … other comrades overseas who couldn’t come home or did come home, but not alive. … They’re the true heroes, not me,” Simpson said.

The victim’s iPhone was returned after the robbery.

Jackson was ordered held on $100,000 bail on Sunday.

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