The owner of a northern New Jersey deli foiled an attempted armed robbery by throwing hot oil on the suspect.
Police say a masked man wearing a blue winter coat entered Cos's Corner Deli in Linden and pointed a handgun at owner Harry Bains' face on Monday.
The suspect started fumbling with the register and apparently got startled and dropped it, Bains said. Bains then grabbed a pot of hot oil and chased the suspect, hurling the boiling liquid at him as he fled the store.
"I just filled up the thing with oil and splashed it toward that side," said Bains.
Bains, who has owned the deli for five years, said he couldn't stand there and watch the suspect take his money.
Neighbors supported his move.
"I think it was a big risk, but it was a very brave move that he made," said Henry Gianieri. "Sometimes you do what you gotta do to defend yourself."
But police warned that Bains' tactic wasn't wise.
"I can understand it, but we certainly don't encourage it," said Linden Police Captain James Sarnicki. "The suspect had a handgun, and no amount of money is worth losing your life over."
Two female employees were in the store with Bains when the armed suspect came in, but they weren't hurt.
Police will review surveillance video to try to identify the suspect. They also planned to alert area hospitals in the event the suspect was burned by the hot oil Bains threw at him as he ran out of the store.
No money was taken.
Bains is thankful no one was hurt.
"I pray it never happens to me again," he said.
Published at 11:28 AM EDT on Aug 20, 2013
Copyright Associated Press / NBC New York