ON CAMERA: LeDuff takes down alleged cell phone thief

Last month, Charlie LeDuff landed on the other side of the camera as he helped take down a thief who swiped a cell phone from the owner of a popular Detroit restaurant. On Wednesday, the suspect was in court as we get a look at LeDuff's actions.

The owner of American Coney Island, Grace Keros, was with Charlie LeDuff in downtown Detroit in May when she says her phone was swiped. LeDuff chased the man down, threw his cup of coffee at him, and then brought him to the ground. 

LeDuff became the star witness for the prosecution against 19-year-old Orlando Thomas. He testified that Grace called for help and he jumped to action.

"I looked and saw him with the phone run across Michigan Ave," LeDuff said. "I yelled for him to stop. He turned towards me and said 'I'm gonna knock you out mother******.'"

Then LeDuff caught up with him.

"He swung at me, I ducked," LeDuff said. "He picked me up, threw me on the cement. Grace came to help, he pushed her. I got up, he swung again. This time I took him down and held him down. As I held him down he said to me 'I'm gonna kill you mother******.'"

At that point others came to Charlie's aid, held him down, and waited for the police to nap him. 

Thomas is charged with unarmed robbery, a 15-year felony, as well as larceny from a person, a 10-year felony.  

During Wednesday's preliminary exam, Thomas' attorney cross-examined LeDuff where they asked about the physical altercation he described above. The defense attorney said LeDuff did not mention it to the statement police turned in for evidence. 

"As you see, that's not in my handwriting," LeDuff said. "I spoke to the police officer. Whatever he wrote down, he wrote down. I signed it and it's correct."

And because of Charlie's testimony a count of assault was added to Thomas's charges, for which now he'll face trial.  

Thomas has three previous convictions for larceny and breaking and entering. He's currently on probation and is being held on a $50,000 bond. 


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