By Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Jaime L. Witt
Illinois National Guard
CHICAGO (1/9/12) -Quick actions by a 21-year old Illinois Army National Guard Soldier during the weekend thwarted an attempted robbery and resulted in three teenagers being arrested by Chicago Police.
Army Spc. Paville N. Simpson of Chicago, a military police officer with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 404th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade in Chicago, thwarted an armed robbery on the evening of Jan. 7.
Simpson detained three robbers after they took someone else's iPhone.
Simpson works as a security guard for World Security Agency and was waiting for a train at the North/Clybourn station while on his way to work around 6:30 p.m. Simpson was flagged down by the robbery victim. After receiving the description of the suspects, he quickly went into action.
"It was just instant. The guy needed help so I helped him," Simpson said.
Simpson chased the suspects, all juveniles, up the stairs. Simpson seized two of them, both 16 years old, on a storage bin. The third suspect, a 17-year-old male, attempted to run back down the stairs. When Simpson caught him, the suspect pulled out a replica gun. Simpson then drew his own gun, which as a security guard he has a permit to carry. The suspects surrendered, and Simpson controlled the suspects until Chicago police officers arrived.
Police arrested and are holding all three suspects, said Officer Robert Perez, a public information officer with the Chicago Police Department. Perez said the suspects will be formally charged within the next couple days. The iPhone was returned to the robbery victim.
"One of the values that the Army and the Illinois National Guard instills in our Soldiers is personal courage. Spc. Simpson certainly displayed that courage in helping a fellow Chicago citizen last night," said Army Maj. Gen. William L. Enyart, adjutant general. "We are proud to have such courageous men and women in our ranks."
Army Lt. Col. Maurice Rochelle of Flossmoor, officer in charge for the 404th, said this is what having Citizen-Soldiers in our communities is all about. He said the unit had just completed Army combatives training that day, which teaches the art of self defense.
"That very evening Spc. Simpson put those skills into action," Rochelle said. "I think this is tremendous. What he did is amazing."
When asked about his actions, Simpson denied being a hero.
"It's not about me being a hero. It's about me doing the right thing at the right time," Simpson said