Earlier this month, surveillance video captured a Portage Park business owner fighting off an armed robber at the Car Care Auto Spa.
“All of a sudden, it’s just, ‘hey give me all of your money,” said business owner James Suh. “And I look up and this guy is pointing a gun right at me.”
On October 12, surveillance video shows Suh fighting off the attacker while a gun is pointed in his face.
“So frustrated and angry and you kinda feel helpless in that moment too,” Suh explained, “and I basically just did what I could in that situation.”
Suh was alone in the shop at the time, doing paperwork and holding a virtual meeting behind the counter, when the attacker walked in around 7 p.m.
He initially attempted to de-escalate the situation as the man demanded money, until he noticed something with the suspect’s gun.
“He kinda like tries to rack his gun and it looked to me like it got jammed, the side was locked back,” Suh explained.
Suh made his move at that point.
“And so I reached out and grabbed it there, and the whole counter top was shifting,” Suh explained.
The struggle continued throughout the store.
“I just grabbed him by the wrist and grabbed the gun, took it out of his hand,” Suh explained. “Once I got it out of his hand, I just wanted to shove him back and then he goes running out of here.”
A number of surveillance cameras assisted police in gathering evidence against the suspect, but no arrest has been made as of yet.
The owner claims he has never had a crime problem in the last decade of running this business, but admits that times are changing in Chicago when it comes to safety.
“The prior week someone was trying to steal a car from here, and in 10 years’ time that’s never happened,” Suh said. “And all of a sudden in two weeks’ time, we have two of these major incidents and yeah, you just kinda wonder what’s going on around here.”
A nearby business, Bubble Bath Auto Shop, said it has also experienced recent robberies.
Employees reported that a car was stolen from the location two weeks ago.
They couldn’t speak on camera, but they said it’s a worrying trend for these companies.
“It’s unfortunate because it’s just this risk of doing business and it seems like the risk is going up,” Suh explained.