He had no idea a hero was standing right behind him. While this would-be robber got a lot more push-back than he’d bargained for.
A Mansfield firefighter and former Marine taking down an armed robber with his bare hands was caught on camera at a Midlothian gas station. And now, Daniel Gaskey is being hailed as a hero.
The robbery took place June 26 at the Exxon Oasis Food Store on 9th Street in Midlothian, according to Midlothian Police Sgt. Nick Harp.
It started out as a regular day for Gaskey. “It was about 6:15 in the morning. I was on my way to work, stopped in here like I normally do before my shift and just getting some water or coffee, you know, just stuff to start the day,” Gaskey said.
Security video captured the incident, showing Gaskey standing at the counter getting ready to pay when a white male, wearing a black mask and red and black jacket, enters and shoves him aside.
“This guy walks in and gets up to me and, you know, and puts his hand on me and kind of moves me out of the way,” he said. “So I kind of step back and realize that he’s not paying attention to me; he just wanted me out of the way so he moves me and goes up to the cash register.”
He probably thought the guy was just being rude and cutting in line. Then he saw the weapon. The masked man set a 5-inch-long hunting knife down on the counter and told the cashier, “This is going to be quick and easy. Just give me the money.”
When he realized what was happening, Gaskey took a couple of seconds to assess the situation, then leaped into action. With little regard for his own safety, he wrapped his arms around the man’s neck, got him in a chokehold, and tackled him to the floor…
Then kept him pinned until police arrived just minutes later.
“Sometimes there’s a job that needs to get done,” he said. “You have to be willing to stand up and help each other.”
Gaskey hopes that the robber will be spared jail time.
“I’ve been praying for him,” said Gaskey.
To pray for someone who tried to do wrong and put your own safety at risk, that’s a hero to me. Learn more about this story in the video below.