Mom marches son, 18, to police station after recognizing him as suspect in Chicago train robbery: Teen’s lawyer claims he held conductor gunpoint for money to buy a snack before his next university lecture
- A Chicago train conductor was robbed at gunpoint during a downtown stop on Tuesday, and the theft was caught on camera
- Police released images of the gunman and a woman turned in her son after recognizing him in photos circulated by local news outlets
- She drove her son, 18-year-old Zion Brown, to the police station later that night
- Brown, an economics major at Loyola University, was arrested charged with armed robbery
- His lawyer claimed he committed the crime because he was hungry and needed a snack before class, but a judge didn’t buy the excuse and denied the teen bail
A Chicago student who allegedly robbed a train conductor at gunpoint to buy a snack before class was turned into police by his own mother, who recognized him through widely-circulated surveillance images of the brazen daytime robbery.
Loyola University Chicago student Zion Brown, 18, was charged with armed robbery for allegedly pulling out a black semi-automatic handgun Tuesday aboard a Metra Electric Line train and stealing the conductor’s petty cash.
He fled on foot and remained on the lam until later that night, when his mom recognized him through news coverage and drove him to the Calumet City police department to surrender, court heard last week.
During a bond court appearance, Brown’s defense attorney told Judge Maryam Ahmad that the teen committed the crime because he was hungry and needed to eat before class.
But the excuse elicited little sympathy from the judge, who quipped that she too was once a hungry student but never resorted to violence to finance snacks, CWB Chicago reported.
Brown was denied bail.
The Metra Police Department released this surveillance image after a train conductor in Chicago was robbed at gunpoint last Tuesday. The image above shows the conductor standing with his hands raised above his head as the gunman tucks his weapon into the waistband of his pants
The suspect, pictured peering at a surveillance camera, was charged after his mom recognized him in news coverage and drove him to the police department
Zion Brown, 18, was arrested and charged with aggravated assault
Metra police said the robbery happened at 2.07pm as a train was arriving at the Van Buren Street Station in downtown Chicago.
As it pulled in, Brown allegedly produced a gun and announced a robbery before demanding cash, they said.
Surveillance images showed the conductor standing on the platform with his hands raised above his head as the gunman tucked the weapon into his pants and made off.
Court heard that the robbery was a crime of opportunity.
Brown decided to hold up the conductor after observing him handling money and suffering pangs of hunger, CWB Chicago reported.
He absconded with about $110 and dumped the weapon in a garbage
Court heard that Brown, a Loyola University Chicago student, committed the crime because he was hungry and needed a snack before class
Brown on LinkedIn said he was an undergrad student at Loyola University Chicago, where he was majoring in economics.
The freshman was expecting to graduate in 2025, although it wasn’t clear whether he’ll remain a student in good standing following his arrest.
It’s not the first time a mother has turned in her child.
Last month, a woman turned in her 13-year-old son to New York police after recognizing him on a wanted poster for an assault at a Bronx playground.
That teen, whose name wasn’t released because of his age, was accused of shooting another 13-year-old boy in the knee in a Hunts Point Playground over a SnapChat feud.
And in October 2019, a woman in Washington was hailed a hero for reporting her son’s troublesome journal entries to local police. She told investigators that her teenage boy detailed in his notebook plans to attack his school on the anniversary of the 1999 Columbine High School massacre.
Police said his detailed journal included times, specific firearms and explosives, locations, an established date of April 20, 2020, and plans to kill his mother and her boyfriend.