An Army veteran took down and choked out an armed casino robber wearing a Batman mask in Germany last summer, Stars and Stripes reported Tuesday.
The armed man – wearing working gloves, a ski mask, a Batman mask and a scarf – walked into the gambling hall that U.S. soldier Elliot Montalvan, 35, was working at in Heidingsfeld, Bavaria.
“I thought someone wanted to play a prank on me,” Montalvan said, until he heard the man say “Give me the money” in German.
When the man walked in front of the counter with a gun, Montalvan, a U.S. Army veteran with the 172nd Infantry Brigade, 1st Battalion, 2nd Infantry Regiment out of Schweinfurt, Germany, took his chance to take down the robber.
Montalvan grabbed the man’s arm with the gun in it and took him to the ground.
“We went down with such a force that, I (thought) the robber was for a moment unconscious or shocked,” Montalvan said.
“I started pounding him with a closed palm,” he added.
After repeatedly hitting the man, Montalvan eventually got the robber on his back and placed him in a choke hold until the man went unconscious.
Because of his knowledge about first aid, Montalvan placed the man on his stomach so he would not choke on his own blood. The man’s cheekbone was broken.
Montalvan called his wife who then called police to let them know what happened.
Montalvan walked outside with his hands up and knelt down telling police when they arrived that he was not the one trying to rob the gambling hall.
“I never thought that what I learned could one day really save your life,” Montalvan said of his training. “I never realized it until this night.”
The unidentified robber was sentenced to 39 months in prison for armed robbery.
Montalvan said his wife was supposed to be working at the gambling hall the night of the incident, but he took her shift because their children were sick.
Montalvan, who served in Operation Enduring Freedom in Iraq, said he suffers from PTSD after watching his best friend die during a deployment in Iraq. Montalvan said he received a 100-percent disability determination after a roadside bomb hit a vehicle he was in while deployed, resulting in him having six pins placed in his back.