Customer Disarms Robber at Southpointe Tesoro

Suspect Was Arrested Hours Later

FARGO, N.D. — When it comes to our survival, there’s one thing we all have in common: the fight or flight response.

“Everybody has that no matter if you’re trained or not. It tries to pick the best way to handle a situation. For some people, I’ve seen situations where the most unlikely of persons ends up being the hero or ends up saving the day,” said Tac, a military and security contractor.

That’s exactly what happened at the Southpointe Tesoro in Fargo Sunday night.

18-year-old John Holeton walked into the gas station wearing a ski mask and carrying a rifle.

It was when he tried to rob the store that an unlikely person decided to put a stop to it: one of the customers.

“Once we arrived on scene, the male that fought that suspect was able to disarm him and the suspect had fled on foot,” said officer Jessica Schindeldecker, with the Fargo Police Department.

Holeton left the store empty handed, but police eventually took him into custody after following up on a tip they received.
Officers say it’s very rare for them to see anyone fight back the way the customer fought off Holeton.

The customer may have walked away with a few minor scrapes, but police don’t recommend you do the same.

“You don’t know what that person was capable of, were they planning on firing that rifle and if they did, where would it have gone and who else could have been hurt,” Schindeldecker said.

Instead, safety experts say being aware of your surroundings is key, which includes asking yourself certain types of questions wherever you go.

“How many exits do I have, where’s my help, where’s the nearest police station from here,” Tac said.

It’s simple questions like these that can help a person avoid becoming the “easy” target.

“You want to be a hard target by always being aware of your surroundings, So if the bad guy is looking at you, he can say ‘not that person, not today,'” Tac said.

Security experts say places like gas stations, banks and grocery stores are considered easier targets for criminals because they have no armed security and easy exits.

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