A Marine Corps veteran who stopped an armed robber with his bare hands last week described the incident in an interview with Fox News on Friday. At the end of the segment, the hero Marine said, “And remember: Epstein didn’t kill himself.”
James Kelcer, the Marine who jumped into action when an armed robber entered a gas station convenience store in Yuma, Arizona, told Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom” that he takes his safety and the safety of others “very seriously.”
“I turn around to go and leave, kind of walk out and as I’m turning around I hear the door kind of open real aggressively,” Kelcer said. “At that point, the ‘spidey senses’ tingled a little bit.”
Kelcer said he saw three masked individuals enter the store, but only the group’s apparent leader was armed.
“I saw two other guys with no other weapons and decided that’s the guy that I’m going to hit,” Kelcer continued.
Video of the scene shows Kelcer grabbing the gun from the robber’s hand and striking the robber with a bag that he said contained two Gatorades, two energy drinks and “a snack.”
“I was actually going to take control of his head and the gun at the same time, and the bag just happened to be heavy and attached to me and it smashed him right in the face,” Kelcer said.
Kelcer said the store’s clerk was “a little worked up” but still jumped over the counter to pursue the other suspects who fled the scene on foot.
As the interview was ending, Fox News host Dana Perino asked viewers to buy the Marine veteran an “energy drink” or “a beer if you want one,” to which Kelcer responded, “Yeah, I’ll take a beer, please.”
After Perino thanked Kelcer, he responded, “And remember: Epstein didn’t kill himself.”
According to local law enforcement, the masked suspect who was detained during the attempted robbery was a juvenile. The individual was booked at the Yuma County Juvenile Justice Center for one count of armed robbery and one count of aggravated assault.
“The armed suspect walked next to a store customer while pointing the weapon toward the cashier when the customer acted immediately and disarmed him,” Tania Pavlak, Public Affairs Specialist for the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office, wrote in a post on Facebook.
After the heroic display, deputies contacted Kelcer to discuss the incident. When asked how he managed to stop the armed robber, the Marine responded, “The Marine Corps taught me not to [mess] around.”