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How an NFL-Linebacker-Turned-Pizza-Man Helped Solve a Murder

Napoleon Harris III is a state senator, former football pro, and entrepreneur. But you will soon know him as a real-life action hero.

Kevin Farrell

Photo via Flickr user Ryan Hyde

If you live in Illinois, or you happen to be an NFL fan, there's a chance you've have heard of Napoleon Harris III. Harris is a former NFL linebacker, but unless you're a hardcore Vikings or Raiders fan, you probably wouldn't remember him. Even if you live in Illinois, there's a good possibility won't know him as one of the 59 state senators. But he will soon be burned into your memory as the pizza delivery guy who helped the police nab a group of alleged murderers.

Harris own two Beggars Pizza franchises, and on the night of September 6, he sent his delivery guy home a bit early from work and offered to drop the last order off himself (Napoleon Harris III: linebacker, senator, cool boss).

When Harris arrived at the vacant house in Harvey, Illinois, he was greeted by a man on the front porch. But when he tried to exchange his pizza for the customer's cash, three other men burst forth from the bushes and tried to tackle their delivery guy, presumably not realizing that he was a 250-pound quarterback crusher.

READ MORE: Delivering Pizza Is One of the Most Dangerous Jobs in America

A representative for the Harvey Police Department told CBS, "They were expecting a scrawny 5-foot-9 guy, and got Harris instead. They put a chokehold on the senator, but to no avail. They were really trying to choke him to death, and he was just too strong. He out-powered all four of them."

Unable to overpower their delivery guy and local voting district's elected official, the four men fled the scene in a Chevy Tahoe, having secured both pizza and Harris' wallet. In an attempt to add IRL action-movie hero to his already impressive resume, Harris chased after the men in his own vehicle. He cornered the Tahoe in a lumberyard, and the four men fled. But Harvey police were able to identify blood found within the Tahoe, tying it to a man named Lester Roy Jones whose dead body was found days earlier in Georgia. The truck was also registered to the same man.

READ MORE: This Cop Went Undercover as a Pizza Delivery Guy

Three of the pizza burglars, it turns out, had allegedly used the dating app Grindr to kidnap and murder Jones before making off with his vehicle and credit cards. Using evidence found within the Tahoe along with Harris' description of the suspects, police were able to track and arrest Malik Mayer and Lawrence Hines, as well as an unnamed juvenile. Police believe they have identified the fourth member of the pizza-loving murder ring, and are planning charges against him, as well.

Napoleon Harris III: linebacker, entrepreneur, state senator, real-life action hero.