MELROSE — The tough-as-nails manager of a Bronx clothing store wrangled a gun away from an armed robber by slugging the thief in the neck and then chasing him down the street, the worker told DNAinfo.
Ali Muhammad Hamissou, 40, had just opened Black Era, at 560 Melrose Ave., for the day at about 10 a.m. on Aug. 15, when the suspect barged in wearing a ski mask and demanding cash along with a pair of $100 sneakers, he and police said.
WATCH HAMISSOU TAKE THE GUN AWAY FROM THE SUSPECT:
Video of the robbery shows the suspect pointing the gun at Hamissou and saying, "Open the cash register. Put the money here," as he dropped a backpack on the counter.
"The first time you see a gun pointed at you, you have to be scared," said Hamissou, who has a wife and two kids — a daughter, 10, and a son, 7 — in his home country of Benin.
The suspect told another person to leave the shop and then demanded a pair of Air Jordan 11 Concords, which Hamissou grabbed, he said.
But then a security alarm startled the suspect, giving Hamissou enough time to catch him off guard, he said.
"I got the opportunity. It's in the dark. He's in my front. I say, 'Let me take my chance,'" said the bold shopkeeper, who has been working at the store for six years.
Hamissou, who came to the U.S. about seven years ago, punched the man in the neck, sending the handgun clattering to the floor.
The two scrambled for the firearm, but Hamissou snatched it first and chased the suspect at gunpoint as he bounded out the front door, still clutching the sneakers and $100 in cash.
Hamissou and a second man chased the suspect down the block, but weren't able to catch him, the manager said.
The suspect was still at large Friday morning, police said.
Anyone with information should contact Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477).