Altoona, PA – A bartender at Ajay’s Bar was accosted by an armed robber at around 1 a.m. on Dec 18. He initially pretended to comply with the demand, then lunged at the subject and managed to get the gun away from the person. As a struggle ensued, one shot was fired that did not strike either person. The robber picked the wrong bar, wrong bartender: he is a US Marine combat veteran.
Altoona Police posted this on December 18:
“Last night at 1:00 a.m. a light skinned black MALE OR FEMALE with a gun attempted to rob Ajay’s Bar, 2901 Maple Ave. The bartender who is a retired Marine Corp combat veteran was able to disarm the suspect as he was handing over money from the cash register. A struggle ensued between the suspect and bartender when a round was discharged from the firearm, missing both the suspect and bartender. The suspect is believed to have obvious facial injuries from being struck with the firearm during the struggle. The suspect was able to get away by exiting a side door and fled on foot city northbound across Maple Ave. Officers followed a blood trail which ended in the back yard on the 2900 block. of Maple Ave.
The suspect is described as a light skinned black male or female, approx. 5’06, medium build, last seen wearing a blue winter jacket, sweatpants, a gray/red plaid scarf covering most of his/her face, and a hairstyle in which braids may have recently been removed. It is strongly believed that he or she has obvious injuries to his or her face/head area. The bartender was not injured.
The firearm was recovered on scene, which was reported stolen in the city several months ago. Officers are currently processing evidence and obtaining surveillance footage from inside the bar.
Anyone who observes someone fitting the description with facial injuries, please call 911 immediately. Thank you
The armed robber will have visible injuries on the head from being struck with the weapon.”
The bartender’s name was not released. But there were plenty of comments on the post:
” I have a feeling I know who this retired Marine is, First I hope you are ok, second thank you for your service and 3rd not surprised at all in his heroism!”
“Semper fi devil dog. Well played.”
“I know this Marine too glad to hear your ok and great job showing him who’s boss I’m surprised knowing you that he even got away.”
There were a few trolls, however, who questioned how the robber managed to get away with a Marine veteran pointing a gun in his/her face. The money was all recovered and replaced, so the robber got nothing for all the trouble. Once the suspect was disarmed, there was no justification for shooting the person. The surveillance videos suggest the possibility of a woman, based on the person’s gait.
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