New York, NY – A video has been released of a Manhattan deli owner disarming a knife-wielding robber on Thursday while two female New York Police Department (NYPD) officers ran from the suspect and failed to intervene (video below).
The incident occurred just before 7 a.m. on June 4 at the Healthy Green Gourmet deli on Third Avenue in the East Village, The New York Times reported.
It was captured on video by the deli’s surveillance cameras and showed a female officer with her Taser drawn backing away from an unmasked man holding a large knife in the air with his right hand and holding the leash of a small spotted terrier in his right hand.
The suspect had a foot-long Defender Xtreme “Rambo” knife, according to WABC.
Another female NYPD officer was behind the man with her weapon drawn, but stopped as soon as she got about 10 feet into the deli and backed her way out to the door again.
Fernando Hernandez, who was the clerk behind the cash register in the video, said he heard police yell “Step back! Step back!” as they entered the store with the man, The New York Times reported.
The video showed one of the employees behind the counter ducked down to hide as the officer with the Taser ran around the counter to stand next to the cashier.
She holstered her Taser and pulled out her duty weapon out, the video showed.
Then she backed up and appeared to use her radio to call for assistance while the armed man approached the cashier and made his demands with a knife in the air.
It was a bizarre scene as the knife-wielding man continued to hold his dog’s leash while he attempted to rob the deli, the video showed.
In the video, the police officer behind the counter backed away until she was out of the video frame completely and left the store owner behind the cash register to face off with the armed robber.
The officer who had left through the front door was also no longer visible, the video showed.
Hernandez told police the suspect demanded a pack of cigarettes, The New York Times reported.
The officer inside the store began slowly moving toward the clerk and the suspect but appeared to hesitate to take action.
Since he was holding his dog’s leash, the robber had to put down his knife to pick up the pack of cigarettes.
The video showed Hernandez reach out and grabbed the suspect’s knife when he set it down.
Hernandez handed the knife to the officer, who had already taken her gun off of the suspect, the video showed.
The suspect put both hands in the air and dropped his dog’s leash.
Despite two officers being on scene, and the suspect disarmed, they didn’t go hands-on.
The officer outside stepped back through the deli’s door with her weapon drawn and pointed at the suspect, the video showed.
But the robber wasn’t afraid and walked directly at the officer, who allowed him to approach and shove her out of the way as he left the store through the front door.
The other officer went around the counter and to the front door of the deli but then hesitated and did not follow them outside, leaving her partner alone.
Instead, she backed up and hovered, looking through the closed glass doors as other officers confronted the suspect outside the deli.
Hernandez boosted himself over the counter and was on his way to help outside when the video ended.
Blue Lives Matter reviewed private surveillance video of the scene outside of the deli.
That video showed the suspect grabbed the arms of the officer at the door while she was still holding her gun. As it appeared the suspect could have disarmed her, he used both hands to push her away.
He then began to aggressively advance on the officer as other officers arrived on scene.
Then he turned and pointed his right hand at another approaching officer before he used two hands to shove that officer.
That’s when two officers opened fire and the suspect dropped to the pavement.
“Once outside, the male continued to motion toward his waistband and refused the officer’s repeated demands to stop his aggressive advances,” NYPD said in a summary of the incident, according to The New York Times. “The officer, as well as an additional responding officer to the location, discharged their firearms and the suspect was struck in the arm and torso.”
The video viewed by Blue Lives Matter showed the suspect actively assaulting an officer, but the suspect reaching for his waistband was not visible in the video.
The suspect was transported to Bellevue Hospital Center with gunshot wounds to his arm and torso, WABC reported.
Police have not released the suspect’s name but said he was in good condition at the hospital, The New York Times reported.
Four officers who were on the scene were transported to Lenox Health Greenwich Village for evaluation.
Officials said the 55-year-old suspect had a history of mental health problems and had recently expressed worries about violence against black people and wondered when police would learn how to act, according to WABC.
NYPD said that investigation into the incident was ongoing.
Watch the scene unfold in the video below. WARNING – Graphic Content: