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Seeing himself on TV led suspect to surrender in robbery, beating of man, 86

Freddie Hops/ phofrom Chicago Police

Freddie Hopson / photo from Chicago Police

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Updated: June 22, 2012 4:35PM

The 86-year-old man had just put his shopping bags down when he felt someone grab him from behind.

“I can’t breathe,” the World War II veteran said he told his attackers that spring afternoon as he tried to make his way into his South Side apartment.

“I didn’t get scared until later when I realized they could have had a gun or a knife.”

On Friday, Freddie Hopson, who allegedly choked the senior citizen until he passed out, was ordered held in lieu of $500,000 bail for the April robbery.

David Chambers, who rifled through the victim’s shoes and clothes while Hobson clung onto the man’s neck, surrendered to police after watching himself on surveillance-camera footage on TV, police said.

Cook County Judge James Brown ordered Chambers, 49, held in lieu of $250,000 bail Thursday.

Hopson, 45, was picked up by the Fugitive Apprehension/Great Lakes Regional Task Force after Chambers turned himself in.

Just two months before Hopson attacked the elderly man, he was released from prison for an armed robbery against a 69-year-old, assistant state’s attorney Lorraine Scaduto said.

In the attack on the World War II vet, Hopson and Chambers followed the man for 3 ½ hours before they snuck up behind him at his senior citizen’s building in the 600 block of East 69th Street, Scaduto said.

The victim on Friday said he believes the pair had started trailing him when he went into the Urban Partnership Bank in the 7900 block South Cottage Grove.

There, the victim said he put $300 in one sock and $250 in the other.

The man said he then went to a currency exchange, Walgreens, Target and finally his building — where he encountered his attackers.

In addition to his money, victim said the robbers took his lottery ticket and a money order.

“I was sore for a couple of weeks,” said the man, who has since recovered.

“I’m terribly happy that they have been caught. They could have killed someone.”

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