Gun-toting citizen foils robbery, leads APD to arrest -, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Gun-toting citizen foils robbery, leads APD to arrest

19-year-old Dejean Thomas (Source: Dougherty County jail) 19-year-old Dejean Thomas (Source: Dougherty County jail)

September 14, 2006

Albany -- A bystander broke up a Northwest Albany armed robbery he witnessed by firing two gunshots in the air.  He then followed the armed robbers as they fled, and alerted police who arrested the three gunmen.  

Now, the man who stopped the robbers and their victims are too scared to talk to us on camera, afraid the young crooks will come after them.  

Just before 11:00 Wednesday night two gunmen jumped a man and a woman in the back parking lot as they left Mama Gina's Restaurant on North Slappey.

The male victim, Michael, is afraid to show his face on camera, worried the robbers will come after him again.  "He had a red bandana on, waving a gun all around, threatened to shoot us if we didn't give them the money."

Marcus saw the robbery happening, and decided to help. He is too afraid to give his name or talk to us, but when he saw the robber's guns, he went to get his. Mama Gina's owner Vinny Mannino said, "The guy go in his car and get his gun. He shoot one shot in the air to scare the guys, they run away. He shot another shot in the air to make them stop, but they keep running."

The two robbers jumped into a car and fled down Tenth Avenue. Marcus followed in his car, letting police know what was going on. Mannino said "He call 911, from the car. He was communicating with 911."

The robbers threw their guns and the victim's wallet and purse out the window as they drove North on Slappey, and then onto the bypass, where Police stopped them.

Charged with armed robbery are 19-year-old Dejean Thomas and two 16-year-old juveniles.

Marcus told us that he just wanted to help, that's why he rushed the armed robbers. Mannino said, "I think we need more people like him, help each other."

Michael said there is no doubt Marcus is a hero.  "He's a pretty good guy. It's great somebody around here wants to help, and get involved."

But Marcus and Michael admit they are both still scared, worried that the robbers or their friends will seek revenge. Marcus said the Police took his .357 Magnum as evidence after the robbery, but they assured him he would get it back soon.