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Early morning jogger overcomes armed robber

YUAN Hao, a 35-year-old Anhui-native, was honored and awarded 1,000 yuan (US$157) for his bravery in struggling with a robber, Qingpu District officials said today.

On the morning of September 20, Yuan was running for exercise on Fengzhong Road when he heard screaming from a nearby grocery store.

Out of curiosity, Yuan went to check what happened and saw the store owner surnamed Zhou was bleeding from his face and a 22-year-old robber was holding a fruit knife to demand money.

Without hesitation, Yuan leaped forth and wrested the knife from the robber. The robber surnamed Li tried to escape but was subdued by Yuan.

Later, the store owner was sent to the hospital. He was stabbed in the neck and had a 10-centimeter gash from his cheek to the neck.

Yuan said he was jogging because he had two cups of coffee night before and could not fall asleep.

"I heard Zhou calling for help and I just helped him," Yuan said in a TV interview.

Police arrived three minutes later and arrested Li.

Prosecutors said Li played online games in a cyber cafe until he ran out of money at about 9:10pm. He imitated the robber in a game and bought a fruit knife from a nearby supermarket. Then he wandered along Beiqing Road in search of a target.

He came to Zhou's grocery store around midnight and stayed there more than an hour, claiming he was waiting for a friend. Zhou said he was going to close the store and Li asked to buy a pack of cigarettes.

When Zhou turned around to get the cigarettes, Li took out the knife and held it on Zhou's neck, asking him to hand out money.

Zhou was hurt in the neck and started bleeding. As they were wresting, Yuan came to Zhou's help.
Li is now facing criminal charges for robbery.


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