A schizophrenic man walks into a party store and tells the clerk he has a gun in his pocket and that he’ll use it if he doesn’t give him the money out of the register.
No, this isn’t the set-up to a corny joke, it’s what went down last Thursday in Grand Rapids, Michigan but that isn’t the remarkable part of the story; it’s what happened next that makes the robbery attempt much more interesting.
“I look at the cashier — I kind of know him, I come in there every day — I whispered to him, I mouthed to him, ‘Are you getting robbed right now?’ He said, ‘Yeah,’ like really scared,” recalls customer Zack Thome, an Army vet and current college student who also happened to be a trained MMA fighter.
Without hesitating, Thorne lunged at the robber, slapping on a rear-naked choke and taking him to the ground, where he held him until police arrived and arrested the 38-year-old who was recently released from jail.
“It’s kind of my hometown. I live right next to the place, you know, I’m in there everyday. I think if it was the other way around, if I worked there and the guy at the register was there, he would have done the same thing,” said Thome,
It’s ironic that a sport deemed by vehement opponents like Bob Reilly as being a terrible spectacle that civilized society could do without, has contributed to the thwarting of a handful of robberies and at least one homicidal rampage in the last couple years.