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CLEVELAND -- A local high school student is being called a hero after going the distance to help a robbery victim.

When 17-year-old Alex Forcht got into his car Friday morning and headed to St. John's Cathedral for mass, he had no idea what would happen after he got out and was driving to school at St. Ignatius.

"I couldn't help myself, I just went, it was just second nature," said Alex.

Alex was stopped at a traffic light near West 25th Street when a man on a bike came riding down Lorain Avenue.

"I saw another man chasing him, so I assumed his bike was stolen," said Alex.

He followed the cyclist, not knowing that the guy had just left the Westside Market after allegedly stealing an iPhone from a man's hands.

The chase went down Abbey Road and then across the Lorain-Carnegie Bridge.

"I followed him pretty far down the bridge and I told him that I wasn't stopping anytime soon so he may as well put the bike down and said, 'OK, OK' and he held up his phone," said Alex.

He set the phone down on the rail. Alex grabbed it while the cyclist fled.

Alex's dad is relieved his son was not hurt.

"We try to instill morals and values in our children and he acted on that and I'm proud of him because of it," said Steve Forcht.

Police later arrested 21-year-old Dejour Crawford near 30th and Woodland and Alex got the chance to return the phone to its owner.

"He was very thankful I did that for him," said Alex.

Both on and off duty police were involved in the chase.

Some were on foot, another office actually drove a small garbage cart around the area.

Follow WKYC's Kristin Anderson on Twitter: @KristinWKYC

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