Clerk pushes cooler onto suspect to thwart robbery

By Erik Runge/WGN News

CHICAGO — Chicago police are searching for a suspect in the attempted armed robbery of a gas station in Wicker Park last Thursday.

The clerk at the station, located at Division and Damen, shoved a cooler full of drinks at the suspect in order to frighten him away.

Security video captured the entire incident.

The video starts with the suspect, who was wearing a reflective construction-like vest walking into the store. He asks clerk Omar Benton for a tissue. Benton tells the suspect to get a napkin by the coffee station.

The robber who is described as about 62-years-old and 230 lbs uses that napkin to hide his face from the cameras. When the suspect starts heading back to the counter a cab driver comes in and wants some water.

The suspect then tells Benton he has a gun and demands the money in the register. The cab driver returns to the counter to pay for his water, a shot rings out. The cab driver runs from the store but the robber is still demanding money. He goes behind the counter to get the money but Benton is unable to punch in the right code to open the register.

The robber then moves to the front of the counter and Benton sees his chance. He uses the coolers to shield himself then shoves them over on the suspect.

The suspect flees.

The cab driver in the parking lot tries to stop him but gets out of the way.

Police are still investigating.

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