Four cousins were on spring break in south Florida when they thwarted a pair of armed robbers at a gas station by overpowering them and wrestling their gun away — and the heroic takedown was captured in a surveillance video that’s gone viral.
The men had been partying all night in Miami on Saturday, celebrating the 21st birthday of Alec Tanoos. On early Sunday morning, his cousin, Alex Wisbey — the designated driver of the bunch — stopped at a Mobil station in Oakland Park to fill up the tank before dropping everyone off in Broward County, according to Local 10 News. The group was hanging out next to the car pumping gas when a black sedan pulled up and a masked man emerged. He rushed toward the men, brandishing a firearm and demanding cash.
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That’s when the cousins realized they were being ambushed. But because they outnumbered their attacker, they bravely sprung into action and overtook the thief, tackling him to the ground.
“When I noticed the gun, it was fight mode automatically for me,” said Wisbey, a recent graduate of Ivy Tech Community College in Lawrenceburg, Ind., in a press conference. “I was not going to let my family get injured.”
A pair or robbers got much more trouble than they bargained for when they chose to rob 4 spring breakers before sunrise on March 24 at an Oakland Park gas station. The driver in this misbegotten scheme is now in custody, but the gunman is still at large. https://t.co/RaAaXOEYNi pic.twitter.com/dN7pxwtS1Z
— Broward Sheriff (@browardsheriff) March 26, 2019
The men continued to roll around on the ground with their would-be assailant, trying to take his weapon away.
“Then my cousin, Jacob, gets on top of him and I’m in there, trying to wrestle around for the gun,” recalled Aric Wisbey of Jacob Tanoos. Alex Wisbey then put the robber into a chokehold, and Aric was able to seize the firearm.
As the cousins turned the tables on the criminal, a second man jumped out of the perpetrator’s car and ran straight into the brawl to try to rescue his partner in crime. Aric Wisbey confidently pointed the gun at the two foiled robbers, who sheepishly made their way back to their car. After shouting and gesticulating at them with the gun, Wisbey allowed them to drive away — though their identities and license plate number were captured on camera.
Soon after, police officers were able to locate and arrest Kevin Campbell, the driver of the getaway car, but they’re still searching for the masked man who held up the cousins. The Broward County Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone with information on the attacker’s identity to contact Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS.
The Wisbeys have weapons permits in Indiana, where all four men live, and are experienced in handling guns, so they weren’t completely out of their depth fighting off the assailants at the gas station — a relief, especially after they learned from officers that the gun was fully loaded. But the cousins know the situation could have been much worse, and they said they’re grateful to have walked away with nothing but scrapes and bruises.
“I knew that there was a possibility that I could be shot and killed. I knew that,” Alex Wisbey said at the press conference. Then he turned to look at his cousins and brother, and continued, “That’s my family. You know? We die for each other.”
He made sure to warn others to not necessarily do this at home — or when getting jumped at the pump. He suggested to RTV6 that everyone should listen to their gut and use their own judgment. But, “if there is a situation or a moment where you can wrestle the gun away, or protect yourself or your family or friends, absolutely do that,” he said. “Do not second-guess yourself at all.”
Yahoo Lifestyle has contacted the Broward County Sheriff’s Office for more information.
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