CHICAGO — When Jean Paul LaPierre saw a man robbing subway riders on their way to the Chicago Marathon, he didn't sit idly by.
He took the gun away from the robber.
It started as a train was stopped at Cumberland and riders were rushing for the doors. Fellow passengers alerted LaPierre to the armed man.
"I said, 'this doesn't seem the right way.' He says, 'No,'" LaPierre said. "There's a guy on the train with a gun walking around right now robbing people. So that kind of made me mad."
He went back on the train and confronted the man entirely on his own. The confrontation caused concern among some passengers as LaPierre asked for help handling the gun.
The entire incident was caught on video as LaPierre is seen holding the man against a door after he says he wrestled the gun away from him.
"He kind of turned," said LaPierre. "When he turned I saw where his direction was going it gave me the ability to put a straight arm to him and get him up against the door."
Just a few hours later, and after finishing the marathon himself, LaPierre told WGN Chicago the alleged robber had friends on the train.
"They started threatening me, but I stood stone-faced and the guy kept saying, 'It's just begun. Let me go. Let me go.' I kept telling him, 'You're not going anywhere,'" LaPierre said.
While not an official runner, LaPierre said he wanted to run the marathon because he loves it so much.
"I'm an unofficial runner, I just run because I love it," said LaPierre.
A marathon runner who was threatened moments earlier told reporters she is thankful LaPierre was there.
LaPierre, 54, runs a storage facility in the Boston area.
He says he's used to tough guys, golden gloves, boxing and says his youth boxing armed him for this encounter.
His name might sound familiar to some. LaPierre is the same man who was recognized by Newton's mayor after LaPierre says he tracked down a Burmese python that had been on the loose in the city for a couple of days last summer.
"I don't know why it just lands in my lap, I don't know what it is I just seem to turn around and something's going on and it’s like, 'Here we go again,'" said LaPierre.
Despite the standoff on the train, LaPierre says he loves Chicago.
"You know, incidents happen all over," he said. "It's one of the best cities I've ever visited.
This was his 12th Chicago Marathon.
He said he's looking forward to going back to Chicago and running again.
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