Some people start work early, some people start work late -- and this week Chicago Police Officer John Wrigley did both at the same time.
The 43-year-old off-duty officer was getting ready for work Wednesday afternoon when he heard the screams of a woman being robbed and ran after the 15-year-old crook, arresting him in the
The boy, 15, was charged as a juvenile with armed robbery, according to police.
The teen walked into Soo Dry Cleaners in the 2200 block of West Addison Street about 5 p.m. and asked the 56-year-old woman working there if she could fix a button on a sweater, according to a preliminary police report.
He grabbed a straight-edged razor from a front counter, then walked behind it and took the woman’s purse, which had $700 in it. While holding the razor in his right hand he told the woman: “Don’t move; I’ll cut you,’’ the report said.
He fled the store with her bag but luckily, Wrigley was in his nearby home preparing to head to the station for roll call about 6 p.m.
“I was getting ready for work and I heard her screaming,’’ said Wrigley, a 10 1/2 year veteran of the department. “It sounded like someone was being attacked, so I ran out my front door.’’
Wrigley, a plainclothes officer who works on the Area Central gun team, recognized the victim as a woman he knows from his dry cleaners. She told Wrigley she’d just been robbed by the teen, who the officer spotted running with a purse.
“I chased after him. He dropped the purse and I caught him a little bit down the alley,’’ Wrigley said.
“He gave up after he realized I was a police officer,’’ Wrigley said. “He just basically stated that he had no money.’’
The boy was taken into custody without incident in the alley on the 3500 block of North Leavitt Street, the report said.
The teen told authorities he had been dropped off by someone older than him in a van, and Wrigley said detectives are investigating that possibility.
Wrigley said after the unplanned arrest, he called his supervisor to let him know he’d be late.
“He understood,’’ Wrigley said.
The purse and money were recovered and given back to the woman, and authorities also recovered the razor the boy dropped outside the business.
The owner of the dry cleaners told the Tribune this afternoon that everything is “OK,’’ no one was injured, and she was grateful the officer was around to help out. “Thank God – right,’’ she said.
Wrigley said no one was hurt.
“Honestly I was just glad to be in the right place at the right time,’’ Wrigley said. “Luckily, it worked out.’’
The boy appeared today before Judge Stuart Lubin in Juvenile Court, cited in a juvenile petition with armed robbery, aggravated robbery and robbery, Cook County state’s attorney’s office spokesman Andy Conklin said.
The teen was released on electronic monitoring and is expected in court on Oct. 29 on the charges, Conklin said.
Officer Wrigley, who was shot in the line of duty in 2005, was given multiple awards for valor for the incident, including Officer of the Month, he said.
“I got shot in the arm and it needed stitches and I caught another round in the vest,’’ Wrigley said.
The vest stopped the bullet, but he still suffered bruises, Wrigley said.
A man charged with shooting Wrigley and two other responding officers, Howard Morgan, was sentenced to 40 years in prison in April after being charged with attempted first degree murder, records show.