A suspect has been arrested following a failed attempt to rob a Georgia convenience store Tuesday. The encounter resulted in the store’s cashier beating the suspect and chasing him away with a hammer.
Christian Dakota Thornton, 17, has been charged with criminal contempt, armed robbery, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during a crime following the run-in with a cashier at the Keysville Convenience Store, according to the Burke County Sheriff’s Office. The scuffle, which was caught on surveillance camera footage, appears to show the hoodie-clad teenager walking up to the front counter apparently to purchase a Mountain Dew. But when the suspect pulled out a gun, events escalated in a direction that he did not anticipate.
Bhumika Patel was working the front counter when Thornton allegedly approached her to purchase the soda, handing her a dollar bill in what initially seemed to be a normal transaction, according to WRDW-TV. But when Patel opened up the cash register, the teen pulled out a gun and demanded that she hand over all the money.
“My register opened and he said, ‘No, no, no, no. I don’t need change. Give me whole money,’” Patel said, according to WRDW. “I say, ‘No I can’t.’ He say, ‘I shoot you!’ I say, ‘Go ahead. If you want to shoot me, shoot me!’”
After only a moment of hesitation, Patel can be seen striking back at the suspect, slapping the gun to the side and clawing at the teenager as she grabs the cash register and proceeds to beat him over the head. And then came the hammer.
“After I pick my hammer and try to reach out, he just fall down and run out,” Patel told WRDW.
Patel can be seen on the surveillance footage as she chases the would-be robber outside the convenience store, clutching her hammer the entire time.
“Just a little bit of a scratch here. Three nails lose. That’s it,” Patel told WRDW, pointing to bandaid on one of her fingers as she claimed she’d do it all again. ”Because I no fight, still he shoot me. I fight, still he shoot me. Better, then, I fight.”
Karen Simpson, who had also been inside the store at the time, applauded Patel for her quick and violent reaction to the attempted robbery.
“[Patel's] first thought was just to grab that cash drawer and start beating him with it and just push the gun away,” Simpson told WRDW. “I think it startled the crap out of him. I think that was the last thing he expected.”
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