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New Jersey Deli Owner Talks About Foiling Robbery With Hot Oil

Harry Bains Threw Frying Oil At Armed Gunman In His Deli

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LINDEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A Linden, N.J. deli owner was talking Tuesday afternoon about his successful fight against an armed robber with only hot oil as a weapon.

Around 2 p.m. Monday, the suspect walked into Cos’s Corner Deli on the East Elizabeth Avenue with a hooded windbreaker pulled up over his face, and showed the owner he had a gun. The intruder, a man in his 20s, signaled for Bains to be quiet.

“He didn’t say nothing,” said owner Harry Bains. “He motioned… then entered.”

Bains dropped to the back, as the thief went for the cash register.

“The pan was there. I put on the fryer, and I put the hot oil on him – threw it at him,” Bains said. “And that’s when he got a little surprised, and he ran out right away.”

Bains said the oil was 350 to 400 degrees. But one might not expect to be a match against a gun.

“To tell you, frankly, I don’t know what was going inside my mind at that time,” he said. “I just did it.”

A customer saw the surveillance video on the incident TV.

“I was getting all fired,” said customer Matt Crawford. “I didn’t it was my man over here though. It was great; fantastic. Good for him.”

An upstairs neighbor, Ataro, expressed admiration for Bains’ courage when he spoke to 1010 WINS’ Gary Baumgarten on Monday.

“Man, he’s great, man. He’s a great guy, man, you know, and it’s too bad that this had to happen twice to him,” Ataro said.

Police do not encourage anyone to resist a gunman, but they understood Bains’ impulse.

“A lot of these convenience store owners – they work 16, 18 hours a day. They work very hard for their money,” said Linden police Capt. James Sarnacki.”They’re just not likely just to give it up to anybody who comes walking into their store looking to rob them.”

Having thought it over, Bains said he is glad he acted as he did.

As of Tuesday, the robber remained on the loose. Police were hoping the suspect would show up at a hospital for burn treatment, but the video shows the oil hitting mostly the jacket rather than man’s skin.

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