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Thug Tries to Steal Cash, but Clerk (Trained in the Martial Arts) Gives Him the Surprise of His Life

Knowledge plus commitment allowed a Mobil station worker to take down a bad guy, and it didn't surprise his instructor one bit

At 5 feet 7 inches tall and just 120 pounds, Ebrahim Gawagi, who works at a Mobil gas station in Norwood, Massachusetts, may be of slighter stature than many.

But thanks to a special set of skills, he’s not a guy to mess with — not at all.

A crook learned that the hard way earlier this week after entering his station with the intention of robbing it, as WFXT-TV reported.

The hooded man on Tuesday tried to grab money from an open register as Gawargi was counting cash — but the alert clerk immediately hopped over the counter, slammed the man into some shelves, and subdued him with a sleeper hold.

“When he attacked me, I had to do something,” he told WFXT, adding that his assailant “grabbed my hand; I had over $600 in my hand.”

“I didn’t want to kill him,” Gawargi told the station. “I needed to let him breathe, [but] when he kept moving, I gave it more pressure to let him sleep again.”

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Gawagi comes by his impressive skills through hard work and commitment.

He trains three to four hours a day at Connors Martial Arts Academy in Norwood, he told WFXT.

“I just do it to have fun … [I] just come to [the] training, get some fun over here,” he told the station.

He said he started training two years ago when he moved to America from Egypt.

“I’m not surprised he got the best of the guy,” said his instructor.

John Connors, a teacher at the academy, told WFXT that Gawargi is an “excellent student who takes his training very seriously,” is “very determined” — and is “very, very scrappy.”

“So I’m not surprised he got the best of the guy,” Connors said.

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The robber, John Benedict, 46, was being held on $5,000 bail, the station said.

Norwood Police Chief Bill Brooks told WFXT he would prefer that robbery victims just hand over what’s demanded and then call police. Yet he also noted that “this was a little bit unusual because of the skills of the clerk.”

Gawargi got two days off after the dust-up, the station said — a well-earned mini-vacation.

(photo credit, homepage and article images: Mobil Gas Station, CC BY-SA 3.0, Cropped, Anthony92931)

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