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High school IHOP employee takes down armed would-be robber with his bare hands during terrifying incident


Incredible maneuver

Scott Olson/Getty Images

An 18-year-old IHOP employee fought off an armed would-be robber Tuesday night inside a Texas restaurant.

The employee, Sam Swindell — a senior at Success High School in Round Rock, Texas — sustained a hand injury in connection with the incident.

What are the details?

Swindell reported that when three men visited the IHOP on Tuesday night, one of them became "agitated and aggressive" toward him, according to the Austin American-Statesman.

One of the men — 19-year-old Matthew Sheedy — reportedly confronted Swindell and demanded Swindell tell him where to purchase marijuana or Xanax. Swindell said that he didn't know what Sheedy was talking about, which reportedly set the suspect off.

Sheedy began swearing and yelling at Swindell during an initial confrontation, but ended up leaving the location, according to the Statesman. Sheedy then returned 45 minutes later, according to reports, and slipped into the men's room upon arrival.

Swindell noticed and followed Sheedy into the bathroom where he confronted Sheedy, who allegedly pulled out a gun and demanded drugs a second time, the Statesman said.

After Swindell insisted that he didn't have any drugs, Sheedy reportedly demanded money instead. Swindell began to pull out his wallet when Sheedy reportedly began to load the chamber of his gun. Swindell took this opportunity to punch Sheedy in the face, trying to knock the gun out of his hands.

According to an affidavit, the gun went off and a bullet struck Swindell's hand, but he was able to gain control of the gun and turn it on Sheedy. Sheedy fled the scene, but met police just outside the restaurant.

What did the police say?

Pflugerville Police Sgt. Jared Bruno told the paper that the response time was "incredibly fast."

"[Police] were able to apprehend the suspect just as he left the building," Bruno added.

Swindell's father, Scott Swindell, told the Statesman that his son was "trying to take control of the situation and get the gun away from [Sheedy]." He revealed that Sam Swindell is "pretty shaken up" but was expected to make a full recovery.

"We're heartbroken that our son went through something like this, but we're so thankful he's going to be OK," Scott Swindell added.

Police said that they are not investigating Sam Swindell "as a drug dealer or any other drug-related offense," the outlet reported.

Sheedy, however, was jailed in connection with the incident. He faces a charge of aggravated robbery and a marijuana possession charge. Police said that he could face other charges as well.

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