BEAVERTON, Ore. (KPTV/CNN) – Police say a man was arrested for robbing a lottery winner at Beaverton restaurant on Saturday, and customers helped take down the suspect.
Martin Vantubergen said, “I was on his back, had him in a chokehold, my brother had one arm and my dad fishing buddy had the other he couldn’t move.”
Vantubergen said he’s glad he could take down, this suspected wanna-be lotto looter, Christopher James. “He didn’t have a chance to put much of a fight up.”
On Saturday, Vantubergen —and much of his family—had just sat down at this Shari’s off Murray Boulevard.
“My family had a memorial service for my stepmother – after the service we decided to come here to continue visiting and have something to eat,” Vantubergen said. But instead of getting food, he said they witnessed a fight. “The victim was about 67-years-old.”
Vantubergen said that victim had just won big playing video lottery inside the restaurant. But after leaving with his winnings, another not-so lucky player followed him outside.
Vantubergen explained, “When he got to the crosswalk the other guy followed him out, and hit him in the back of the head grabbed the bag of money and started to run off.”
Vantubergen said his wife saw the attack and told him to help. “As soon as my wife said, ‘Go get him,’ I went, ‘If she says okay, it’s okay,’ haha.”
Once he got the all-clear, Vantubergen ran outside, tackled the suspect, put him in a chokehold and waited for police.
“He tried to get us to let him go, claimed he was just trying to get home – told him that wasn’t an excuse,” Vantubergen said. “Pretty pathetic. I got a little bloodied from it, one of the cooks cleaned me up.”
After an “atta’ boy” from police and a thank you from the lotto winner, Vantubergen went back inside, for a much-deserved bite to eat. He said, “You always kinda think about what you would do when something like that would happen, and I’m just glad I reacted.”