UPDATE | Bond denied for would-be armed robber chased from store by cashier

By  | 

Friday, March 4, 2016

BURKE COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- A judge denied bond for a boy accused of attempted armed robbery at a Keysville convenience store.

Christian Dakota Thornton, 17, faces charges of criminal attempt armed robbery, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during a crime.

Deputies said Thornton is the person shown in surveillance video pointing a gun at a cashier. The video then shows the cashier slapping his hands, hitting him over the head with the register drawer and chasing him out of the store with a hammer.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

UPDATE: 7:35 p.m.

BURKE COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Burke County deputies are identifying the boy accused of trying to rob a store only to be chased away by the store's cashier.

According to the Sheriff's Office, Christian Dakota Thornton, 17, is charged with Criminal Attempt Armed Robbery, Aggravated Assault, and Possession of a Firearm during a Crime.

Deputies said the Richmond County Sheriff's Office helped arrest Thornton at a home in Richmond County after surveillance video deputies said shows him fight with a woman at the Keysville Convenience Store.

News 12 NBC 26 at 6 o'clock / Wednesday, Mar. 2, 2016

BURKE COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Hands, a hammer, and a whole lot of determination is all it took for a Keysville convenience store clerk to fight off a man with a gun.

Bhumika Patel was working the store alone Tuesday when a hooded man came in for a Mountain Dew. The Sheriff's Office said an arrest has been made but we do not know a name yet.

Patel says she could tell by his body language on the 16 surveillance cameras something wasn't right.

When the man approached the counter, he sets down the can of soda, hands over a dollar bill, and it looks like a normal transaction until the register drawer pops open.

Once the cash was in sight, the man pulls a handgun from the pocket of his hoodie, points it at Patel, and demands all her money.

"My register opened and he said 'No, no, no, no. I don't need change. Give me whole money,'" Patel described.

Patel barely hesitated. In the choice between fight or flight, she chose attack.

"I say no I can't. He say I shoot you! I say go ahead. If you want to shoot me, shoot me!" Patel said.

The gunman never got the chance.

"He just try to face off like this gun, and I just slap it like that," Patel says as she motions her had as if swatting something out of the way.

After pushing the gun to the side, surveillance video shows Patel clawing at the man's hoodie as he grabs for the money. Instead of getting away with cash, the robber gets a lashing.

Patel grabs the cash register drawer and begins beating the man over the head. Then, she got her hands on a hammer.

"After I pick my hammer and try to reach out, he just fall down and run out," she said, reenacting the movement of swinging the hammer over the counter.

Surveillance video shows her chasing the robber outside the store, hammer still in hand.

Karen Simpson was also in the store that day. She came in right after this all took place.

"Her first thought thought was just to grab that cash drawer and start beating him with it and just push the gun away," Simpson said. "I think it startled the crap out of him. I think that was the last thing he expected."

Besides losing his shoes, the robber wasn't injured, but neither was Patel.

"Just a little bit of a scratch here. Three nails lose. That's it," she said as she pointed to a bandaid on one of her fingers.

The video is already legend around Keysville. A group gathered to watch the video again this morning.

"She got a lot of nerve!" one store patron said.

"She don't mess around," another one said.

"When I watched it the first time, all I could do was laugh. Then the feeling set in that I was just thankful she wasn't hurt, and then I laughed again," Simpson said.

Some even made a song about it with lyrics that read "Please don't let no robbers come to this store."

According to the video, that might be the best advice a robber could get.

Since his face was so clear in the video, officers say they've gotten several tips.

While what Patel did in the video is not how officers would advise the victim of an armed robbery to act, in this case it worked for her. Patel says she would do it all over again.

"Because I no fight, still he shoot me. I fight, still he shoot me. Better, then, I fight," Patel said.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

BURKE COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Deputies are looking for a man whose robbery attempt they say was defeated by a convenience store cashier.

The Burke County Sheriff's Office said deputies were called to the Keysville Convenience Store around 11 a.m. The store's cashier told them a man came into the store and pulled out a handgun, demanding money from the register.

She said the suspect ran away after a brief scuffle. Deputies found money on the store's floor and searched the area, but could not find the suspect.

If you have any information, you're asked to call the Burke County Sheriff's Office at (706) 554-2133.