In a stunning display of quiet and unsung heroism, a retired Marine Corps combat veteran stopped a robbery in a Pennsylvania bar earlier this week — and potentially prevented many people from being injured.
The incident occurred around 1 a.m. on Tuesday at Ajay’s Bar in Altoona.
A hooded individual walked in and demanded cash, the Altoona Police Department in Pennsylvania said in a Facebook post.
The individual had a gun and pointed it straight at the bartender.
The bartender — a retired combat vet — stretched his arm over to hand the person the cash.
Then the veteran dramatically lunged toward the suspect, tackling him or her to the ground, according to ABC News.
“We have posted a series of short surveillance videos from an armed robbery that occurred today at Ajay’s Bar, 2901 Maple Ave. at 1:00 a.m.,” the post from the Altoona Police Department read.
“We apologize for the quality of the videos, but at this time the owner of the bar is still trying to copy the actual footage onto a disk. This is a cell phone recording of the original footage.”
“At this point the suspect is believed to be a light skinned black MALE or FEMALE. It appears that the suspect may have had their hair in tight braids which have recently been removed. The suspect will have apparent facial and head injuries. Anyone who may recognize the suspect, please call 911 immediately or send a private message to this page.”
— Uncle Sam's Children (@UncleSamsChild) December 20, 2018
— Gil (@Gil00006) December 21, 2018
The message concluded, “Better footage will be posted when available, thank you.”
During the struggle between the two individuals — which apparently lasted for several minutes — police said a shot was fired.
But neither the bartender nor the suspect was struck by the bullet, according to Fox News.
The suspect then fled the bar, leaving a trail of blood to the backyard of a home that was down the road before eventually getting away.
The weapon used in the attempted robbery was recovered at the scene.
The suspect is described by police as a “light-skinned black male or female” with “apparent facial and head injuries” after being struck by the weapon.
The weapon used in the attempted robbery, meanwhile, was recovered at the scene.
The gun was reported stolen several months ago, police told WJAC News, an NBC affiliated station, serving Pennsylvania.
“They definitely picked the wrong bar at the wrong time,” said Altoona Police Sgt. Matthew Plummer of the suspect, as The Altoona Mirror reported.
“Outstanding job” by that bartender, wrote one reader about the story.
These days, with widespread attacks on all things male — things like physical strength, bravery, and manliness itself — it bears reminding that masculinity, in this particular scenario, not only saved the day but potentially saved people’s lives as well. That — and the bravery of an American veteran.
Elizabeth Economou is a former CNBC staff writer and adjunct professor. Follow her on Twitter.