Napoleon Harris III, age 37, has served as an Illinois state senator since 2013. He is also the owner of two Beggars Pizza franchises.
On September 6, 2016, his franchise in Harvey, Illinois, received an order over the phone at closing time, requesting a pizza delivery. Harris told the regular delivery guy to go home and that he would deliver the pizza to the 15800 block of Paulina Avenue himself.
What Harris didn't know until he arrived was that it was a vacant house.
What the four dudes who were planning to rob Harris at the vacant house didn't know was that it wasn't the regular delivery man -- it was a 6 feet 3 inches, 250 pound, former NFL linebacker who had played for the Oakland Raiders and the Minnesota Vikings.
Thus, much excitement ensued.
Upon arrival with the pizza, a man on the porch greeted Harris, as three other guys burst out from behind a row of hedges.
As reported on the local CBS news by Sean Howard, a representative of the Harvey Police Department -- "They were expecting a scrawny 5-foot-9 guy, and got Harris instead. They put a chokehold on the senator, but to no avail. They were really trying to choke him to death, and he was just too strong. He out-powered all four of them. As they were all beating on him, one guy just went out of his way and really hit him hard, and Napoleon never moved. He just looked at him like Hulk Hogan, and from that the guys knew that we better get out of here, because we can't get this guy down."
Never mess with a former NFL linebacker -- especially a former Oakland Raider or Minnesota Viking.
The four would-be robbers had somehow managed to steal Harris' wallet, as well as the pizza, and flee in a Chevy Tahoe.
Harris pursued the Chevy Tahoe in his own car, because that's what linebackers do -- they vigorously pursue those they intend to force from an upright position onto the ground and render them motionless, bringing their forward progress to a swift halt.
Harris followed them to a lumberyard and called the Harvey Police department.
When the police arrived, they found the Chevy Tahoe but the robbers had vanished. However, the police did find some blood in the Chevy Tahoe, which was registered to a Georgia man named Lester Roy Jones.
Analysis of the blood revealed it matched the blood of a man's body found in an abandoned house in Union City, Georgia, by the name of Lester Roy Jones, a homicide victim. Apparently, three men had kidnapped and killed Jones by luring him to the abandoned house through a dating app.
Authorities soon tracked down the four robbers, based on the descriptions Harris gave them and on the evidence linked to the homicide in Georgia.
Apparently, two of the men had taken a Megabus from Chicago to Georgia and were arrested on September 15. A security camera had captured a masked man trying to use the murder victim's ATM card -- Malik Mayer was charged with murder and financial transaction card fraud. The other person arrested was a juvenile, name withheld.
A third suspect, Lawrence Hines had checked himself into a Georgia mental institution. Later the same month, law enforcers tracked him down and arrested him at the facility.
The fourth suspect fits the description of a man in Gary, Indiana, near Chicago. Charges and apprehension are pending.
I was in high school in a suburb of Minneapolis when the Minnesota Vikings came into existence as an expansion NFL team. Soon, they were dubbed the Purple People Eaters, based on their propensity to vigorously pursue those they intend to force from an upright position onto the ground and render motionless, bringing their forward progress to a swift halt -- particularly at the linebacker position.
These many years later, I still bleed purple.
Quote for the Day -- "The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack in will." Vince Lombardi
Bret Burquest is the author of 11 books. He lives in the Ozark Mountains with a few dogs and where bleeding purple may be a sign of the consumption of too much moonshine.