An alleged bank robbery in Cocoa, Fla., was nipped in the bud by a 65-year-old retired Marine, who tussled with the accused thief and kept him from getting any of the loot.
Edward Sotelo, 43, reportedly rushed into a Wells Fargo bank on Monday afternoon, wearing a hardhat and surgicial mask and threatened the teller.
It might have worked if Eugene Storley hadn’t been at the next window and remarked to Sotelo, “You gotta be kidding me,” before grabbing for the suspect’s gun, FloridaToday.com reported.
Sotelo dropped the gun and ran from the bank before he got any cash and was arrested a few moments later, according to SpaceCoastDaily.com.
At about 6-foot-4, and 200 pounds, the suspect towered over the 5-foot-7 Storley, but the senior citizen said he had the upper hand the whole time.
“I figured if he had to shoot me, he’d shoot me,” Storley told WOGX-TV. “So I grabbed him like this here, came around him like this here, and he turned around and shoved me back. He was gone, before I could jump on him again. He was like lightning.”
It is not recommended for witnesses to try to subdue criminals. Cocoa Police Officer Barbara Matthews was willing to make an exception in Storley’s case since he’s former Marine, and a retired Miami cop.
“Although police don’t suggest witnesses fight the bad guy, our customer’s life of training kicked in and he felt he just couldn’t stand by,” Matthews told the Orlando Sentinel.
Sotelo, 43, was charged with armed robbery, assault with a firearm, battery on an elderly person and possession of drug paraphernalia. He also faces similar charges in Orange County, Fla. for the robbery of a Credit Union.