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Mugger wanted her phone — but was no match for this boxing champ, Chicago cops say

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Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.
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Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.

A 26-year-old boxer was on her way to train at a gym in Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood last weekend when a mugger sucker-punched her and tried to steal her phone, according to local media reports.

I was like, ‘Aw, heck no,’ ” said Claire Quinn, a 152-pound weight class boxer who has a 6-0 record so far in 2019, according to the Chicago Tribune. “He punched me the one time really hard, and then after that I just kept throwing my right hand into his groin.”

The older man ambushed the Golden Gloves champ from behind around 10:30 a.m. Sunday as she was giving a teenager directions to a nearby Nike store, the Tribune reported. After the pair swapped around six punches each — Quinn with her phone secured in her left hand — the attacker fled without anything to show for the crime, according to the newspaper.

I just kept throwing my right hand to his balls,” Quinn said, according to Block Club Chicago, which first reported the attack. “There’s no way to sugar coat that or put it nicely.”

Quinn said she aimed for the groin because the man’s face was too far away, Block Club reported.

“My right hand knocks girls out,” Quinn said, per the publication. “My last four or five fights have been TKOs. It can do some damage.”

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The attacker got away with the teen who had asked directions and another person, according to Block Club. Quinn declined an ambulance to the hospital after the attack but later went to the doctor, where her headache and blurry vision were diagnosed as a concussion, the Tribune reports.

Lalo Beas, Quinn’s trainer, suggested he wasn’t surprised about the outcome having seen Quinn’s moves at Logan Square’s Unanimous Boxing Gym, WLS reported.

“She would stop me in my tracks with her right hand,” Beas told the TV station.

Quinn told WLS a better strategy for the mugger would have been to ask for the phone.

“I could have just given him my phone, but you laid your hands on me,” Quinn told the TV station. “I’m not going to take that.”

Another of Quinn’s trainers told WGN that he’s also impressed with her actions.

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“I hope she taught him a lesson and he won’t do something like that again,” Trinidad Garcia said, according to WGN.

Police said they’re still looking for the men involved in the attack, and no one is in custody, WGN reports.

“They picked the wrong one,” Garcia said of the men, according to NBC Chicago. “There’s not a right one, but they definitely picked one of the toughest women in my opinion in the city of Chicago. Claire had glasses on, and she looks like a librarian most of the time, but don’t judge a book by its cover.”

Police confirmed the attack, the Tribune reports, but a spokeswoman added that fighting off an attackers isn’t always the best option, saying “we always advise safety over property.”

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Jared Gilmour is a McClatchy national reporter based in San Francisco. He covers everything from health and science to politics and crime. He studied journalism at Northwestern University and grew up in North Dakota.
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