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Gas attendants heroically stops robber

33-year-old, James Escarpeta is known to the media and the police after he was charged with several offences over the last 15 years, ranging from drug trafficking to murder.  Over the weekend, Escarpeta made another appearance when he went armed to Buca Service Station on Constitution Drive in Belmopan and held up the cashier and two pump attendants.  Reporter Courtney Menzies has the story.

Courtney Menzies: “A daylight robbery, a brave gas station attendant and a thief hospitalized with a gunshot injury. These were the pieces of a failed robbery at Buca Service Station in Belmopan. It is almost unheard of for a civilian to not only chase down a robber but to hit him with his vehicle and then reportedly shoot him with his own gun but that is exactly what happened. Assistant Commissioner of Police Joseph Myvett gave us more details while the attendant also told us what was going through his head in this Tarantino Esque incident.”

A.C.P. Joseph Myvett – Head National Crimes Investigation Branch: “On yesterday’s date shortly after 1 pm Belmopan police responded to information of a robbery at Buca Service Station at Constitution Drive Belmopan. Upon their arrival it was reported to them that a slim dark complexion male person entered the gas station armed with a handgun and held up the cashier inside the building and stole an undisclosed amount of money.”

Gas Station Attendant: “I was attending to a customer there and that was when after finishing with the customer I was on my way back to the other pump and that was when the other pump attendant, my colleague came up to me with the individual beside him. All my friend said to me was Tag just to give the man all the money. I was like what the hell? What happen? He repeated again Tag to just give the man all the money and that is when I noticed the tall individual had a pistol in his hand. Right there and then my military skills kicked in and I was going to try and take away the gun from him right there but when I noticed that there were customers around and stuff like that I thought before I acted so I just took out the money and I gave it to him.”

A.C.P. Joseph Myvett – Head National Crimes Investigation Branch: “ In the process, he attempted to escape by jumping into a vehicle however he was unsuccessful at that so he decided to get out and jump into another vehicle and was also unsuccessful so he decided to then make his escape on foot. During the process, a shot was fired by him at a vehicle which was passing by, one of those gas attendants then pursued him in his vehicle where he caught up with him on a street opposite the service station.”

Courtney Menzies: “The brave attendant then recalled how he jumped into his car and pursued the robber who had just threatened his life. “

Gas Station Attendant: “I made my way behind him and that was when he ran up the street going towards the medical center there. They were also three persons coming down the street at the same time but I said you know what he has already threatened my life and my colleague’s life and stuff like that and also the customers that were there. I rammed him with the car and if he wasn’t hurt I would try to subdue him and take the weapon but what I noticed in the rear view mirror after I hit him was that he was down so I jumped out the car. So, when I jumped out the car he got up and ran into the Medical Center area and that is when I came out of the car and he pointed the weapon at me so I dashed back behind the car. I noticed that the gun was jammed so I stoned my bottle after him, after I did that he dodged the bottle and that is when I made my way towards him, grabbed his hand with the weapon and we began a struggle there, we were there struggling and several shots went off. After that I took away the weapon and he ran from me so I pursued him again and when I caught up with him I started hitting him in the side of the head to subdue him so that he could not escape the scene.”

A.C.P. Joseph Myvett – Head National Crimes Investigation Branch: “ Police then arrived on the scene where the suspect was taken into custody where he reported to the police that he may have been shot. As a result one apparent gunshot injury was observed to his right arm, just below the elbow which seemed to have been an entry and exit wounds.”

Courtney Menzies: “The robber was later identified as James Escarpeta and was taken to the Western Regional Hospital where he currently remains in a stable condition. He is expected to be criminally charged after he is released. A.C.P. Joseph Myvett says that things could have gone in a completely different direction.”

A.C.P. Joseph Myvett – Head National Crimes Investigation Branch: “ I would say that indeed much care could have been exercised as the police had already been called and was already going to the area where he was pursuing the suspect so in that he too could have been injured.”

Courtney Menzies: “Escarpeta reportedly stole $1200 before he was apprehended. According to police, they were able to recover some of the money. Reporting for Love News I am Courtney Menzies.”

Our archives show that he was acquitted on a charge of murder when the witness experienced amnesia back in March 2009.  This was the murder case of Kevin Parks who was killed on Euphrates Avenue in November 2006. ///////