Store clerk survives attack by armed bandit
READING, Pa. - February 23, 2011 (WPVI) -- Police in Berks County are trying to track down a bandit who attacked a store clerk, then lost most of his ill-gotten gains before he could make his escape.
It happened yesterday at a GettyMart in northwest Reading. This is how clerk Omar Jarju described what happened after the masked gunman entered the store.
"He said, 'Go down.' I said, 'No, I will not go down. Why should I go down?' He said, 'Get down, I need the money.' I said, 'No, I can't give you the money.'"
Jarju refused the gunman's demand for cash, and it nearly cost him his life.
"He tried to shoot me, but the gun didn't go off," said Jarju. "When he saw the gun wasn't working, he pointed it at my cheek and punched me, then asked me to go down."
Surveillance cameras did not capture the thief brutalizing Omar. But the recording clearly shows the gunman dropping the money tray from the cash register on the ground, scooping up the cash, and running to a getaway car.
As it turns out, Omar's attempt to stop the gunman was completed by Old Man Winter. The getaway car slid on an ice patch and crashed in an alley a few blocks away.The bandit got away. But most of the stolen cash was found strewn inside the vehicle.
After being beaten and robbed, Omar continued serving customers for the rest of the afternoon. The soft-spoken West African native says if he were meant to die, he believes it would have happened yesterday.
"Nothing happens for nothing, and death is only once," he told Action News. "If I am to die, I prefer to die in the right way."
The gunman remains at large, but Omar says he's not concerned.
pennsylvania, berks county, reading, robbery, guns, local/state, walter perez
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