LI deli owner pulls gun, pays robber

June 2, 2009 3:07:40 PM PDT
A Long Island deli owner pulled a gun on a would-be robber and then gave him cash. Mohammad Sohail, who owns the Shirley Express, says a bat-wielding man entered the convenience store and demanded money on Thursday, May 21, just after midnight.

Sohail responded by pulling out a rifle. The suspect then reportedly dropped to his knees and begged forgiveness, blaming the tough economy for his turn to crime.

The Pakistani immigrant, who has been on Long Island for more than 20 years, put down his gun and gave the man $40 and a loaf of bread.

"He started crying," Sohail told Newsday. "He was saying, 'I have no money. I have no food. I have no job. I have to take care of my family.'"

Sohail told the man to promise he would never rob anyone again, and then gave him the cash and bread. He says that when he went to get the man some milk, the suspect fled the scene on foot.

Sohail then called 911. Police, who confirmed the account, say the incident is under investigation.

Still, Sohail told Newsday that he does not want the robber to end up in jail.

"I told him, 'Please, don't rob anybody again,'" Sohail told the newspaper. "I hope he learned something."


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