Shoppers in Yuma, Arizona are safe, and a suspect is in jail because a Marine veteran decided to put himself in harm’s way this week.
The vet was in line to checkout at a Chevron gas station early Wednesday morning when three suspects attempted to rob the place. As two entered, one with a gun drawn, the vet turned to face them. The moment the gun was no longer pointed directly at him, he sprung into action and tackled the armed robber to the ground.
Surveillance video of the incident was made public by the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday.
The vet was able to pry the gun away from the suspect as the two wrestled on the ground. According to the sheriff’s office, the swift resistance proved too much for the other suspects who turned and ran from the scene.
“The other two suspects fled the area when they witnessed their fellow criminal stopped,” Tania Pavlak, public affairs specialist for the sheriff’s office, said in a Facebook post. The customer was able to detain the suspect he disarmed until law enforcement arrived.”
The suspect detained by the vet, a juvenile, is being held at the Yuma County Juvenile Justice Center on armed robbery and aggravated assault charges. The sheriff’s office is still searching for the other two suspects in the case.
“Anyone with information regarding this case, please contact the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office at 928-783-4427 or 78-CRIME to remain anonymous,” Pavlak said. “You can also visit our website at www.yumacountysheriff.org to submit an anonymous tip.”
Nobody in the store was injured during the robbery attempt, thanks to the vet’s quick action.
The post on the sheriff’s office Facebook page was inundated with hundreds of comments praising the marine’s actions. Many described him as a hero.
“WAY TO SAVE THE DAY!!” Persephone Desiree said. “Thank you for your service, your bravery and your fast acting. You sir are a legend.”
“True hero,” Susan Sternitzke said. “Way to go, Marine.”
“I’d like to buy this gentleman a couple beers!!” Brandon Brockway said.
The vet, who has not been publicly identified, put things simply when asked by police how he was able to successfully stop the threat.
“The Marine Corps taught me not to [mess] around,” he said.