Don’t mess with United States Marines — even if they’ve been out of the service for a while.
That’s the lesson that one would-be robber found out the hard way in Pennsylvania, after he made the mistake of pointing a gun at a retired combat veteran.
According to WJAC News, a man entered a bar in Altoona in the early morning hours on Tuesday. His plan was to rob the place, but he didn’t count on the bartender being a retired Marine who was not in the mood to be a victim.
Instead of handing over cash, the veteran — who is not being identified — fought the criminal and disarmed him. Then the Marine bashed the thug with his own gun.
“Police said the two got into a struggle, and one round was fired from the gun. Neither of them was hit by the bullet, but police said they believe the suspect has obvious facial injuries from being hit with the gun,” WJAC reported.
Incredible video from the bar’s surveillance cameras captured the incident, and shows the veteran making a courageous lunge for control of the gun. It may have been an extremely bold move, but it worked.
A second angle from the security footage shows the Marine holding the criminal at gunpoint in front of, appropriately enough, a “USA” poster on the side of the bar.
However, the failed robber did manage to flee on foot.
“According to police, the would-be robber got away and fled on foot northbound across Maple Ave. A blood trail led police to the backyard of a home on not far from the bar,” the local news station reported.
The gun used in the crime was recovered, and police said it came back as stolen from several months ago.
“Police said the man was last seen wearing a blue winter jacket, blue winter hat, jeans and a gray/red plaid scarf that covered most of his face. Police said he is 5 feet 7 inches tall and 180 pounds with an Afro-style hair cut,” the station continued.
There are a few important points from this incident. The first is that while it worked, taking on an armed person who was demanding cash was a very risky move. The fact that several rounds were fired in the struggle shows how quickly this tactic could have gone sour, but thankfully the veteran walked away unscathed.
Which brings us to the second point: The bartender here would have had many more options had he been legally armed. Interestingly, Pennslyvania is one of the few states that does permit concealed carry in bars, which would have made this a viable option. At the same time, the thug’s stolen gun was already illegal, making it clear that once again, criminals don’t follow laws.
Self defense is a human right, whether it takes place at home, in the street, or behind a bar. Luckily, the good guy got to go home, and hopefully the criminal will be in handcuffs soon.