A man who tried to rob a convenience store with a BB-pistol instead encountered a clerk with a real gun who forced the suspect out of the store and literally kicked him in the rear, police said.
“The clerk remained very calm, leaned over, and he also had a handgun that was underneath the counter,” interim Ambridge police Chief James Mann said. “And he pulled his handgun on the perpetrator. The clerk had every justification to actually shoot the individual.”
Instead, store surveillance shows the clerk, whose name hasn't been released, chasing the suspect, James Hayes, 42, into the corner of the store and then giving him a swift kick in the behind as Hayes goes out the door. The incident happened about 3:45 p.m. Saturday at Moh's Market, about 25 miles northwest of Pittsburgh.
Police caught Hayes a short time later when a woman yelled that a man with a gun had just run into her apartment. They also recognized Hayes from the surveillance video because he had come to the police station hours earlier in connection with an unrelated hit-and-run accident.
Hayes, also of Ambridge, answered WTAE-TV's questions about the incident at the convenience store with his own questions when he was led, handcuffed, from the police station on Saturday, saying, “What? What are you talking about?”
The clerk wasn't hurt and actually finished his shift at the store.
Online court records don't list an attorney for Hayes who remained jailed Monday on a charge of robbery.
Mann said Hayes is fortunate nobody was hurt.
“Mr. Hayes certainly qualifies to be one of the world's dumbest, and luckiest to be alive, criminals,” Mann said.