Pellet Gun-Packing Bystander
By Jeff Jones
Journal Staff Writer
Originally ran here
in the Albuquerque Journal on Saturday,
May 19, 2001
A bystander wielding a pellet gun helped thwart
a robbery early Friday at an Albuquerque sandwich shop, police said. What's
more, a group of people held the suspect down until officers arrived, police
Thomas "Mr. Brown" Molina, 27, who
police allege is a gang member, is now facing a charge of assault with intent to
commit a violent felony.
Albuquerque Police Department Sgt. Brian
McCutcheon said police "appreciate the help, and a bad guy was taken off
the streets." However, he added, police would rather not have residents
placing their lives in danger to thwart crime.
The failed robbery attempt happened a few
minutes before 2 a.m. at a Subway shop on East Central, McCutcheon said. The
shop closes for the night at 2 a.m.
According to McCutcheon, a man with a
pocketknife came into the shop and demanded that a worker open the cash register
and give him money. The man also vaulted over the counter and threatened to stab
the worker, McCutcheon said.
A witness in the store at the time went outside
and told some friends waiting in a vehicle that the shop was being robbed. One
man happened to have a pellet gun, McCutcheon said, and he came into the Subway,
pointed the pellet gun at the suspect and demanded he drop his knife.
The suspect complied, McCutcheon said. The
suspect then ran to the back of the shop and tried to leave, but a group of
bystanders tackled him and held him down for police.
Molina remained in the Bernalillo County
Detention Center Friday night; his jail bond has been set at $10,000.
KABA NOTE: While it is nice that the
police acknowledge the excellent and courageous actions of the citizens who
helped rid the streets of a thug, their suggestion that citizens should not
resist criminals is asinine. If all citizens took that public servant's advice,
criminals would rule our society. Hogwash. That group of citizens deserves a
round of awards.
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