Armed Robber Staring at Cash Completely Misses Cop Walk Up, Stare & Stick Gun in His Face


We don’t usually give tips to armed robbers here at The Western Journal, seeing as how they’re probably not the biggest demographic to target and they also don’t have a lot of computer time in the slammer. Also, people who take stuff forcefully from other people tend to be Democrats anyway.

However, there’s a very remedial lesson at least one armed robber seems to be in need of, so I think that’s worth stressing. It falls under the basic aegis of situational awareness. Namely, if you’re robbing a joint, it’s helpful if you notice if there’s anyone else in the store — like, say, someone with a gun.

But how do you know if they have a gun, you might ask? This is a good question: If they’re a police officer in uniform, that’s generally a good sign they might have a firearm. It’ll help if you keep track if one of those is in the store.

Thomas Zekos of Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, allegedly didn’t pay attention to what one would think is a cardinal rule of the armed robbery game.

According to WBZ-TV, when Newton Police Lt. Dave Tempesta went to the Corner Mini-Mart on Dec. 3, he was in uniform but off duty. He’s a favorite of clerk Charlie Patel.

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“He’s my friend. If he [doesn’t] come, I call him. What happened to coffee?” Patel said.

Well, he came on Dec. 3 — “Two minutes before! The cop [got] here! Two minutes!” Patel said — right before the alleged armed robber came in.

According to reports, without noticing that Lt. Tempesta was in the store, the robber decided to pull a knife on Patel.

“After opening the knife, oh my God. Something’s wrong! He said ‘Open the register!’ [It was a] big knife,” Patel said.

Do you think a good guy with a gun beats a bad guy with a gun?

As the armed robber was emptying the register, he didn’t quite seem to notice the police officer in uniform walk up to him until Tempesta pulled his gun. That’s when the two began struggling.

Thankfully, shots didn’t need to be fired and, with the help of Patel and even some people who came in off the street once they saw a violent tussle underway, the suspect was subdued.

Zekos, who said he was struggling with addiction, has been charged with armed robbery, resisting arrest and assaulting Tempesta.

“Thank God the police officer was here,” Patel told WHDH-TV. “He saved my life.”

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Well, most importantly, thank God he had a gun.

It’s become a cliché and it shouldn’t be: A good guy with a gun stops a bad guy with a weapon. In this case, it wasn’t a gun but a knife. Either way, the fact that Tempesta had a firearm drastically altered the calculus of the situation.

In any other situation, the armed robber here would have made away with the money. He may have been caught, he may not have been. If he wasn’t, he could have been doing this again — and who knows whether or not the clerk would be alive or dead at the end of the night.

Instead, thanks to a cop with a gun, this situation ended safely. That’s what responsible self-defense can do — and why the Second Amendment is so important. Even if the person is not a cop, a gun is the great equalizer. A lot of gun control advocates don’t seem to understand this.

As for Lt. Tempesta, my guess is that he can be a customer in any convenience store he wants after this act of bravery. He’ll probably keep on being a customer of Charlie Patel’s, and that’s going to make Patel feel a lot more secure. After all, the next armed robber will likely be smart enough to take my advice and steer clear of any establishment with a uniformed cop inside.

If they don’t, it’ll likely end the same way this situation did.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture