Preconceived notions about what “tough” looks like are easy to have. We have been conditioned by TV and films and stories of hardened heroes since childhood. The hard-working detective. The valiant soldier. The athletetic runner. These pictures inform our ideas about how tough should look. However, ordinary people sometimes prove as robust as the legends. And sometimes even with the most unlikely objects, they do things like stopping crimes.
Consider a clerk in Shizuoka, Japan, whose bravery and quick thinking thwarted a thief. According to SoraNews24, a masked thief walked into a convenience store in Circle K while wielding a crowbar on October 16, 2017.
The clerk didn’t freak out. Instead, he asked if the robber was there for the store’s money, to which the criminal responded, “That’s right.”
Then the clerk swept up a wooden kendo training sword he kept hidden next to the counter, slapped the alarm button and assumed a fighting stance. Facing incoming police and an imminent thwacking, the robber promptly fled.
A clerk in a Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, didn’t have a sword available when a robber came looking for a quick payday. CTV News reported that clerk Saungae Kim used what she had at hand: a bunch of bananas.
About an hour before shutting the doors, she was sitting behind the store’s counter while eating a banana when the thief came in. He tried to vault over the counter and get the cash register, but Kim’s husband pushed him back.
“I was scared my husband was going to be hurting, so I get the banana,” she said. “And I’m starting to hit him so hard, and he run away.”
According to the Washington Post, the brave store owner didn’t even have a tropical fruit with which to scare away a gun-wielding assailant. Then again, he didn’t end up needing it.
The man was Reynaldo Cárdenas, the owner of a butcher shop named Carnes Cares in Monterrey, Mexico. His son, Daniel Cárdenas, was behind the counter when a nervous-looking man in a hoodie came into the store with a gun.
Surveillance video shows the man first point the gun at Daniel and then at Reynaldo. He should’ve known the proverbial jig was up almost immediately.
This guy got more than he bargained for when he chose to rob this store… wait for it ?
Posted by VT on Monday, February 18, 2019
Why? Despite having a gun pointed at him at point-blank range, the tape shows Reynaldo taking off his glasses as if preparing to get physical. And when the criminal gets sidetracked by a customer and looks away, he tackles him.
As the two fling themselves around the store, the robber drops his gun. That’s when a skittish butcher sprints into the frame and snaps up the firearm.
About that time, the criminal worms his way out of Reynaldo’s grasp, leaving his hoodie behind, and tries to make a break for the entrance. But another butcher intercepts him, seizing him by the throat, and then Reynaldo is on him, and that’s the end of the confrontation.
Daniel Cárdenas said that his dad got tough out of terror, saying, “Actually, he told me that he acted that way out of fear. He really believed that the man was going to shoot them. When he had the chance, he acted instinctively to disarm him. … I’m just glad he wasn’t hurt.”