Black belt pins Uptown shoplifter until cops arrive, videos the experience

During a recent incident in Chicago’s North Side, a Good Samaritan was seen on video jumping in to assist a shop clerk. It was an awful night for Christopher Cruz.

“Hey, hey homie. Let me go, man, homie,” Cruz said as the black belt jiu-jitsu teacher Idriz Redzovic pinned Cruz to the ground. The incident happened at an Uptown convenience store on Thursday night.

“He assaulted a 7-Eleven employee, so I jumped in and took him to the ground and did a gift wrap hold, which is taught in the art of Jiu-Jitsu,” says Redzovic. He teaches martial art at Supreme Jiu-Jitsu in Chicago.

Cruz was accused of stealing food and punching a shop clerk. Redzovic successfully restrained Cruz for more than 13 minutes as he waited for Chicago police to arrive at the business, 1532 West Lawrence.

Redzovic even propped up his phone to video everything. Redzovic’s vehicle alarm briefly went off outside. He shifted his grip on Cruz deftly so that he could use his key to turn off the alarm.

“What are you, Russian?” Cruz asks. “Syrian?”

“I’m Bosnian,” replies Redzovic.

“We’re Bosnian homies!” Cruz pleads.

“You’re a Bosnian nothing,” counters Redzovic.

Six minutes after Redzovic’s phone began to record, things became tense. Cruz whirled and hurled some vulgarities. Then he became composed and said that he needed to smoke immediately.

Redzovic relaxed his hold on Cruz’s back as two police officers entered with handcuffs when they eventually arrived.

Cruz allegedly took food from the business at 8 p.m. and returned a short time later, according to a CPD spokesperson. He was asked to leave by a shop worker.

A CPD representative said: “The offender took a fighting stance. At which time the employee informed the offender that if he did not leave the police would be called. The offender then punched the employee/victim and a witness detained the offender until police arrived.”

The spokesperson added, “The criminal then struck the employee/victim and a witness restrained the offender until police came.”

Cruz was accused of misdemeanor assault and retail theft. Less than five hours later, according to CPD records, he was freed from the police station on his own recognizance.