NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A Queens store clerk fought back against an alleged armed robber late last month, and put his own safety at risk.
As CBS2’s Jessica Layton reported, working the night shift at the Grand Deli, on Grand Avenue in Maspeth, Queens, Ramez Akladious never knows who will walk through the door.
But a conversation with a customer had never before left him saying what he said Monday night.
“Thank God he didn’t shoot,” Akladious said.
Akladious was behind the counter around 12:35 a.m. Sept. 29, when a man wearing as black hooded sweat shirt and gloves came in, pointing a gun. The 34-year-old father of two refused the demands for cash, repeatedly closing the register drawer even after the suspect took a swing at him.
“26:18 I’m not going to give somebody money to buy drugs or do something bad,” Akladious said. “This is my money. I’m working here. This is my job.”
Police said that suspect did manage to grab about $150 before he ran out of the store and went west on Grand Avenue. Akladious said he had never seen the suspect’s face before, and he hopes the next time he does, it’s in a mugshot.
Seeing surveillance video of the incident had loyal customers feeling a little on edge.
“It’s a pity,” said Eddie Calderon. “This is a very good neighborhood. I’m surprised it’s going on.”
They are wishing their friend had not tried to fight back.
“You shouldn’t do that,” said Angel Rivera of Maspeth. “If someone’s going to rob you, just give them the money. You took a chance, man!”
But it is a chance Akladious said he would take again.
“It wasn’t my time to die,” he said, “wasn’t my time.”
After moving from Egypt, Akladious plans to do whatever it takes to protect the place that gave him a job and a better life.
Anyone with any information in the robbery is asked to contact the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), or in Spanish at 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). You can also submit a tip online via the Crime Stoppers website, or by texting a tip to 274637 (CRIMES) and then entering TIP577.
All calls are kept confidential.