Heroic pizza workers take down armed robber, but get a shock when they unmask him
For employees at Northeast Pizza in Barre, Massachusetts, Tuesday started off like any other day. They opened up shop, served a bunch of customers, cooked up some cheesy goodness - you know, the usual. However, things took a dark turn when a particularly menacing figure walked through the doors.
Dressed in black and wearing a ski mask, a man carrying a gun (which eventually turned out to be fake) charged into the store and jumped over the counter with the intention of robbing the place. Before anyone could stop him, he had jumped over the counter and stolen $164 in cash, hitting an employee with the butt of the gun in the process.
However, as he attempted to flee, he was wrestled to the ground by staff members at Northeast, and the entire ordeal was captured on CCTV.
The heroic workers then held him on the ground for several minutes until law enforcement arrived. During that time, the would-be robber's face was still concealed, but police officers removed the disguise in order to arrest him. And, in what must have felt like a real-life Scooby Doo moment, the man under the mask was revealed to be the store's old manager, Sean Coulson.
Coulson then insisted that the whole thing had been a prank. However, considering that both he and other staff members sustained injuries during the attempted robbery, nobody found it particularly funny.
Trevor Kosla, one of the workers who helped to tackle Coulson, later said that he acted out of instinct. "I was just frozen in my tracks," he said. "I didn’t have the time to think about a plan or anything like that, so I just reacted."
The guys who took down Coulson are the obvious heroes of this story - but it was hilarity of the situation which eventually attracted a lot of attention on social media. After CNN tweeted about the incident, floods of people commented in order to make jokes about the whole scenario.
Several people made the obvious comparison to a children's cartoon show:
While others shared "photos" of the group who were responsible for Coulson's apprehension:
In all seriousness, though, the situation could have ended very differently - especially if Coulson had owned a real gun. While it's funny to make jokes about meddling kids and bumbling villains (and I'm sure those involved can see the funny side, too), the people at Northeast Pizza are owed a lot of credit for their quick-thinking actions, and ought to be rewarded for protecting their business and the other people who were in the restaurant at the time.
Coulson, meanwhile, is facing various criminal charges, including armed robbery and assault. For the former charge alone, the former store manager could face over ten years in prison. So, not only did he fail at robbing his old workplace of $164, he also made himself a national embarrassment in doing so. Zoinks.