Mom recognizes Chicago train robbery suspect, her teen son never expected what came next

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The mother of a suspected train robber has been credited with dragging her teen son to the police station after recognizing his photo in Chicago.

Zion Brown, 18, was charged with armed robbery after allegedly pulling a gun on a Metra Electric Line train conductor Tuesday, WBBM reported. The Loyola University sophomore was described as having pointed the gun at the conductor’s stomach before taking at least $100 dollars from the man.

Following the armed robbery, officials released two images to the public in hopes of help identifying the then unknown suspect.

In the first image the conductor is visible in the background still holding his hands up after being robbed at gunpoint and the suspect can be seen carrying a gun described as, “a black semi-automatic handgun.”

When these images circulated the news Tuesday night, Brown’s mother recognized him and drove her son to the Calumet City police department so that he could turn himself in, CWB reported.

Brown is said to have told police that he decided to rob the conductor when he saw the man handling cash. He also alleges that the weapon was not a real gun, claiming it was a BB gun that he discarded in a dumpster before going to class.

During the bond hearing, Cook County judge Maryam Ahmad was set to decide on the state’s request to hold Brown without bail when his defense attorney urged leniency from the court. The defense argued that since Brown had no prior criminal record and that the robbery was a decision made by a young man who was hungry and simply looking for something to eat, he should be granted bail.

The judge reportedly told the defense that she remembered her own days as a hungry college student and that she had never considered pulling a gun on someone as a solution for her troubles before granting the state’s no-bail request.

This armed robbery is part of an increase in crime through Chicago considered part of the failed leadership under Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) who has shown more focus on blaming racism and poverty for the cities woes. Officer retention is reportedly down in the city because of approaches to dealing with crime and policies like vaccination mandates.

“When you look at it, it’s a recipe for disaster. And that’s what we’re seeing right now,” Alderman Anthony Beale said. “It is why crime is escalating in the city of Chicago.”

Though Lightfoot has had poor performance on police hiring and retention, she has pointed to lower courts re-releasing criminals out onto the street as an issue in the fight on crime. It is unknown if those criticisms played any role in Ahmad’s decision to grant the state’s no-bail request.

Brown’s next court date is scheduled for March 4.


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