Tuna Defense

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Thursday, June 23, 2011 - 10:29am

Store clerk in Minnesota fends off robber with can of tuna.

A store clerk in Saint Paul wasn't about to be robbed without a fight.

Hakim Benyahia works the counter at the Ave. Grocery on Selby Avenue, never thinking one of his best sellers could help save his life.

The store's surveillance camera captured closing time on June 8th. As Hakim was locking up, one final, unwelcome customer forced himself in.

He had a mask and a gun.

"I thought he was going to kill me. No way. That's why I go to his gun," said Hakim.
And so began the struggle over the gun with close quarters in narrow aisles.

The surveillance video shows Hakim fighting back and he knew how.
The grocery store clerk was once a bodyguard at the United States embassy in his native Algeria, trained to take a bullet, but not from this suspect.

"I was scared. Very scared," Hakim said.

In what became the fight of his life, Hakim grabbed something he knew might help, the hardest item on the shelf -- a metal can of tuna.

In the video, you can see Hakim hit the would-be robber on the head, just enough to shake him. The struggle continued and the man assaults Hakim, who thought only about getting that gun so he could get home that night to his six-year-old son.

Now healed from his injuries, Hakim hopes this doesn't happen to anyone else. If it was money the robber wanted, Hakim says he would have gladly given it to him without violence. "If he ask him for money, I help him with money. Believe me. I help him," Hakim said.

The suspect eventually ran away. Police are hoping someone saw him or recognizes him from the video. Hakim actually managed to get the man's mask off.
 

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