OAKLAND PARK, Fla. (WHDH) — A group of spring breakers took matters into their own hands when they came face-to-face with a man holding a gun early Sunday morning.
Alec Tanoos, of Terra Haute, Indiana, was celebrating his 21st birthday in Oakland Park, Florida, when his cousin and designated driver Alex Wisbey pulled over at a gas station around 3 a.m.
While they pumped gas into their car, a guy with his face covered stormed at them with a gun, demanding money and goods.
“He came up to me and it didn’t seem real,” Tanoos said.
Tanoos’ older brother Jacob jumped into action to wrestle the gun out of the suspect’s hand.
“I grabbed the gun and I try to move it,” he said, “try to move it kind of up just away from my head, his head, anybody really. Just in case he does pull the trigger, so it’ll maybe go in the air.”
Wisbey grabbed the suspect from behind and around the neck.
“I was just waiting to hear a gunshot go off the whole time,” he recalled.
An accomplice to the suspect then ran up and pushed Jacob Tanoos, while Wisbey placed the suspect into a chokehold on the ground.
Aric Wisbey, who was also present during the altercation, jumped in and grabbed the gun.
“Once I raised the gun, they both took off back to their car and we were just screaming,” he said. “I mean, only thing running through your mind is protect your family.”
The suspects then allegedly tried to compromise with the four men.
“He was asking me to calm down and to give him the gun back and just to chill out like we weren’t just held at gunpoint or anything,” Aric Wisbey said.
The suspect came back out of his car, so Aric Wisbey pointed the gun at him to scare him away.
“At no point ever should violence be an option,” Alex Wisbey said. “He doesn’t deserve his life to get taken just because of the situation.”
The men took down the suspect’s license plate and police were able to catch up to the suspect and arrest him.
“I’m really thankful for all these guys,” Alec Tanoos. “That could’ve been a very bad 21st birthday.”
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