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Video: BJJ black belt stops suspected car thief, declines to press charges

BJJ instructor Idriz Redzovic prevented his SUV being stolen outside of his studio in Chicago.

Idriz Redzovic/YouTube

A suspected car thief ran into a bit of trouble in Chicago recently, when they tried to break in to a SUV parked outside of a BJJ studio. Little did they know that the vehicle belonged to one of the studio’s instructors, Idriz Redzovic; who was watching the whole time.

The story of this encounter comes from Redzovic himself, who posted a video to YouTube that included surveillance footage of the incident (per Book Club Chicago). In the video Redzovic, who — along with his brothers — earned his black belt from legendary grapplers Carlos Gracie Jr. and Carley Gracie, said he and a friend were about to leave Redzovic Jiu-Jitsu to get some food when they noticed a teen fumbling with the door of his friend’s car.

Redzovic said he went back to the studio to tell his friend what he saw. That’s when he noticed the teen cross the street and try to open to door of his car. Surveillance footage showed this play out, with the teen successfully opening the door.

“My dumb self forget [to lock the car]”, says Redzovic, who had been searching for a misplaced phone inside of the car a short time prior to this incident.

Surveillance footage shows Redzovic and a friend sprint towards the car to confront the teen. In his video Redzovic then gives a short demonstration of how he used his BJJ training to remove the teen from his car and contain him.

Redzovic explained that he yanked the teen out of the car “hard” and then pinned him to the ground, placing his knee on his sternum. The grappler said he then considered striking the would-be thief, but stopped himself. He opted to search the teen for weapons instead.

Redzovic said that’s when he discovered he wasn’t in any danger and that the right thing to do was to start de-escalating the situation. After this revelation, Redzovic said he started talking to the teen — who said he couldn’t breathe. Redzovic got off of the teen and then took the young man’s phone. He called the teen’s father.

Around 10 minutes later police arrived at the scene. The teen was “thrown into a cop car,” according to Redzovic, who revealed that — at this point — he told police he did not want to press charges.

“I’m not perfect myself. I did a lot of stupid things when I was younger. But people gave me chances,” Redzovic told Chicago Book Club. “My hope was that giving this kid a chance would make him realize he might not get lucky with someone who isn’t me next time. It’s almost like God sent him in my direction. It’s weird, but it is what it is.”

Redzovic said he spoke with the teen’s father when he arrived on the scene to pick him up. However, a language barrier prevented any meaningful conversation.

“There’s always a positive that could come out of stuff like this. Hopefully something positive comes out of this,” expressed Redzovic. “Maybe the kid who broke into my car has a wake up call and stops breaking into people’s cars. Or someone else who has been breaking into cars or was thinking about it, this video prevents another kid from doing something like this.”

You can check out Redzovic’s video of the encounter below: