NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A crime-fighting rugby player is winning high praise for stopping a suspected purse snatcher on a Manhattan street.

Gerry Loehr, 25, was having lunch at The Penny Farthing on Third Avenue around the corner from his office at Con Ed — where he works as a Purchasing Department Procurement Specialist — when he spotted a man bolting down the street with a purse.

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The man was being pursued by two other men who were yelling, “Stop thief!”

1010 WINS’ John Montone with Gerry Loehr

Loehr immediately jumped up from the table, went outside and tackled the suspect at full speed.

“It was a good hit,” Loehr tells 1010 WINS’ John Montone. “It was just like out of a movie – the purse went 20 feet in the air, everyone’s surrounding you and I just got on him and held him till cops came.”

Loehr said the suspect looked up at him from the sidewalk and complained about his asthma.

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“I said, ‘Well, you shouldn’t have been running,’” Loehr recalled.

Police arrived at the scene to take the suspect into custody and the purse was returned to the elderly woman.

The three-year Con Edison veteran then went back to the restaurant where he was met by a cheering crowd.

The rugby player says he’s not a hero; he just did what anybody with a mother, sister or grandmother would do.

Still, the restaurant thought his good deed deserved a reward so they picked up his tab.

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