Thursday, September 18, 2008

Palm Beach Shop Owner Slays Robber

"Noel Nagi says he was ready to give the gun-toting would-be robber the cash - about $150. "Just don't do anything crazy. There's a baby."

Around the counter-top corner, Nagi's 7-month-old grandson was perched on his father's knee. His mother, Nagi's daughter, stood nearby.

"I don't give a f—," Nagi recalls the man saying as he pivoted and leveled the gun at the boy.

Then a customer pulled open the A1A Discount Beverage door. In a heartbeat, the gunman was distracted.

The father, Yamen Abdelfattah, handed off the infant to its mother. She rushed him to the closed office in two steps. The gunman's attention and weapon then returned to Nagi, the store's owner. And the babe's father, a gun-carrying veteran of the check-cashing business, pulled his weapon, rounded the corner and fired.

"Five, six times, I don't know. I've never shot someone," 29-year-old Abdelfattah said, retelling the story Monday morning from the very chair he and his son were in last night at the shop in suburban Lake Worth at 3747 Military Trail just south of 10th Avenue North.

"We believe the employees of the store got the upper hand on him," Palm Beach County Sheriff's Sgt. Rick McAfee said Sunday night, as investigators combed the scene - a man's body still lying inside the doorway, glass from the door shattered around him.

The robber was identified as Robert C. Martin, 35, of 2781 2nd Ave, North Lot 43, Lake Worth."

Yeah, first time can be a bitch. And a half. But old Bobby ain't going door-to-door stealing from decent folks anymore. And don't worry, Yamen, it gets easier. Next time be ready and try not to let the bad guy get a drop on you.

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