A Good Samaritan who thwarted a robbery inside a New Jersey Wawa doesn’t consider himself a hero. Instead he described himself as an average man who is proud of where he’s from. It’s that pride that inspired him to take action and protect a business that he regularly supports.
“Not in this Wawa that I visit every day,” Daryl, who did not want to reveal his last name, told NBC10. “We’re not gonna have that nonsense. There are nice ladies in here that work here and they don’t deserve it. Don’t deserve it at all.”
Daryl, 52, was inside a Wawa on the 600 block of Cross Keys Road in Sicklerville, New Jersey Wednesday shortly before 2 a.m. That’s when police say Alexander Ray, 26, of Maple Shade, New Jersey, walked inside, took out a handgun and ordered all of the store employees to get down on the ground.
“The way he came in with the gun blazing and pointing it right at them,” Daryl said. “You know, aggressive voice. ‘Get Down! Get down! Get down! Give me the money!’”
As Ray walked towards the registers, Daryl jumped into action, police said. Daryl tackled the suspect leading to a fight inside the store that was caught on surveillance video. Daryl told NBC10 he wasn’t even thinking about the fact that the suspect had a gun.
“That didn’t even come into my mind,” he said. “My mind is take advantage of a situation when it came about, to get him down and hold him until the authorities came.”
The fight between the two men continued through the front doors and outside the Wawa.
“He wanted me to let him go,” Daryl said. “He asked me could he get up and go. Said he was sorry that he came here and can I let him go. And that wasn’t happening.”
Daryl managed to disarm Ray, investigators said. Police officers arrived at the scene as the two men continued to fight. They then took Ray into custody. Police say they recovered Ray’s handgun but discovered it was not loaded.
Ray was taken to Cooper Hospital where he is being evaluated for injuries he suffered during the fight. He faces several charges including robbery, aggravated assault and weapons offenses when he is released.
Daryl also suffered bruises to his hands and an eye injury. He was taken to JFK Washington Township where he received four stitches on his eye. He told NBC10 he doesn’t regret stepping in to help however.
“If I had to do it all over again I probably would,” he said.
Daryl is the father of three children, including a South Jersey police officer.
“Knowing that he puts his life on the line, as well as all the other officers, us as Samaritans, we kind of like have to help the police,” Daryl said. “Police our community.”
He also said he doesn’t recommend other people do what he did however.
“I wouldn’t advise anyone to try to take on somebody with a gun,” Daryl said. “Be aware of surroundings. If you see something out of place, notify the authorities.”
While police echoed that sentiment, they also hailed Daryl a hero.
“I’m not a hero,” Daryl said. “I’m just an ordinary guy who came in here for a cup of coffee and a bag of donuts.”