EAST HARLEM — Baseball season came early to an East 116th Street Dunkin' Donuts when a cashier squared off with a would-be robber, chasing him away with a bat, security video shows.
Imtiaj Ahmed Belal, who has been working the graveyard shift at the doughnut chain near Lexington Ave. for the last four months, said he was startled when the man came in about 1:30 a.m. on March 11, pulled out a sharpened screwdriver, waved it in his face and started pointing to the cash register.
“I was so nervous,” said Belal, 28. “I have never had something like this happen before in my life. He kept shouting, 'Hurry up, open the cash register, open the cash register.’”
Belal, who said he holds an MBA from Metropolitan University in Bangladesh, headed toward the register. But instead of handing over the cash, he grabbed a baseball bat from behind the counter, the recording shows.
He waved the bat in the air and shouted at the man.
The bald robber, who was dressed in a dark blue jacket and carried a white bag, seemed to reconsider when he saw the lumber.
The would-be thief put his hands up and backed away as Belal, who said he'd never before been in a fight or played baseball, gave chase. Police said Thursday the investigation is ongoing, and there have been no arrests.
Prior to March 11, Belal said his biggest headaches at work had been customers who tried to sleep on tables and teenagers who'd attempted to swipe soda from the fridge.
He moved to New York eight months ago to be with his family, but is now hoping to make crime prevention a full-time career.
“I want to try to enter the NYPD,” he said. “The police here are so helpful. When I called they came right away and they call me whenever they have an update.”