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Video: Marine vet stops armed robber with his bare hands in AZ gas station

Marine Flag (Jagz Mario/Flickr)
October 21, 2021

A Marine Corps veteran was caught on surveillance footage stopping an armed robber with his bare hands at a gas station in Arizona on Wednesday.

In video of the incident, the Marine is seen standing inside a Chevron gas station in Yuma, Arizona, located at 10747 E. North Frontage Road when a masked individual entered the store carrying a handgun, followed close behind by another masked suspect. A third suspect is seen just outside the door.  

“The armed suspect walked next to a store customer while pointing the weapon toward the cashier when the customer acted immediately and disarmed him,” Tania Pavlak, Public Affairs Specialist for the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office, wrote in a post on Facebook.

“The other two suspects fled the area when they witnessed their fellow criminal stopped. The customer was able to detain the suspect he disarmed until law enforcement arrived,” the post continued.

The masked suspect who was detained during the attempted robbery was a juvenile, local law enforcement said. The individual was booked at the Yuma County Juvenile Justice Center for one count of armed robbery and one count of aggravated assault.

The remaining suspects have not been caught and the case remains under investigation.   

Deputies contacted the customer who said he had previously served in the United States Marine Corps. When asked how he managed to stop the armed robber, the Marine responded, “The Marine Corps taught me not to [mess] around.”

“Anyone with information regarding this case, please contact the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office at 928-783-4427 or 78-CRIME to remain anonymous,” authorities said. “You can also visit our website at www.yumacountysheriff.org to submit an anonymous tip.”

Last month, an Illinois Subway employee was suspended from her job after a video went viral showing how she managed to wrestle a pistol away from a gunman during an attempted armed robbery. In the video posted on Twitter, the employee is seen hitting the man on the head with the gun until he fled the scene.

“I was kind of like, I felt like I had no other options, you know?” said 20-year-old Araceli Sotelo. “I was alone in there, and anything could have happened, you know? So, I did what I thought was right.”

Sotelo said she was suspended after video of the struggle between her and the gunman circulated on social media. Sotelo said the video is from the Subway’s own security cameras, and the store owner said she could only return to work once the video was removed from the internet entirely.