Police: Clerk disarms teen, foils robbery
Robert Nunnally said he was more upset than frightened Friday, June 06, 2008By RON COLQUITTStaff Reporter
A west Mobile store clerk foiled a robbery Thursday when he twisted and bit the arm of a young man who was pulling a pistol from his waistband, police said.
Robert Nunnally, 43, of Mobile, said he has been working for about three months at the Chevron Food Mart at Azalea Road and Michael Boulevard. He had just finished sweeping the floor shortly before 3 a.m. when the would-be robber entered.
Nunnally stepped be hind the counter, assuming that the young man was going to buy something.
But he shouted "give it up," Nunnally said.
Nunnally said he reacted by grabbing the young man's hand as he reached for a semiautomatic pistol. "I twisted it and I even bit him," the clerk said. "He let go of the gun and ran out. It was a reaction. I really didn't have time to really actually think."
Nunnally was left holding the TEC-9 that he had jerked away.
A husband and father of three, Nunnally said his actions were not born out of bravery, but of defense. Nunnally, who works a second job at a department store, said his family depends on him.
"It would have been a different situation if he already had the gun pointed at me and (was) walking toward me," Nunnally said. "But when I saw him struggling to get it out of his waistband, I just went for it."
Nunnally followed the young man out of the store so he could point police in the right direction.
Jacoby Reed, 17, was arrested just minutes later and charged with first-degree robbery, said police spokeswoman Nancy Johnson.
He was being held at Mobile County Metro Jail without bail Thursday afternoon. The jail log listed his address on Murray Hill Court, off Duval Street, in southeast Mobile.
Nunnally said he was more upset than frightened — disappointed that the would-be robber was so young. "I guess they want to be hardheaded, be idiots," Nunnally said.
Rick Cook, 48, the store's general manager, said he advises his clerks to give robbers what they want, but he doesn't fault Nunnally's actions, considering the circumstances. The clerks keep up to $100 in the register; the rest of the money is stashed in a safe that they cannot open, Cook said.
He also said the store has a video surveillance system, which captured Thursday's holdup.
A man armed with a knife tried to rob the store several months ago, Cook said, and the female clerk on duty also resisted.
"She defended herself and beat him up and money was flying everywhere," Cook said. "But he didn't get any money."
There's one of those assault weapons that flooded the streets.