Braveshopassistantsavedtheday

A Denton store employee who came face to face with an armed robber this winter decided to say “no” to crime and threw the gunman out of the door of the shop.

Steven Booth a third-year employee at the Moving Pictures, 2769 River St. was closing down the video-rental store on the evening of Wednesday 1, January, when the attempted holdup occurred.

Booth said a man had been in the shop for about an hour, checking out the titles and asking him a lot of questions about store memberships. No one else was in the store at the time.

Suddenly, according to Booth, the man walked behind the counter, pulled out an automatic pistol, and said, “Put your hands up.”

Booth complied, but became so upset and frightened that he tried to give the robber some forms he was holding, thinking they were money. The robber started yelling: “What’s that? What’s that?” referring to the pieces of paper.

Booth said the gunman demanded he lie down on the floor, but the store clerk refused. The robber then started coming toward him, forcing Booth to back up into a corner of the shop.

At that point, something clicked in Booth’s head. “I felt he was going to kill me,” he said, “so I might at least try to defend myself.” Instead of feeling frightened, Booth was now angry.

He lunged at the thief, who was standing right over him, pushed him aside, and jumped behind the cash register.

There he managed to activate the silent security alarm, notifying the police.

The store clerk, who is a big, athletic-looking man in his late 30s, said he chased the robber around the counter.

The gunman then ran out the door with Booth right behind him. Booth said he pursued him only a few steps outside the exit.

Later, after having viewed the store’s surveillance video of the incident, Booth said he couldn’t believe his actions. “I wouldn’t have done it if I’d been in my right mind.”