Don't mess with this marine

June 19, 2009 8:17:43 PM PDT
A Marine sergeant took note when someone started targeting a local military recruitment station in Nanuet. Sgt. Tintu Parameswar noticed things were being stolen from the station's offices, and that's when he decided to take action.

For the sergeant, it was a combat mission that was no different than any other combat mission. At the Military Recruiting Center in Nanuet, where he works, items were apparently disappearing over the past year or so. The items were stolen from closets -- like uniforms, medals, coins, all sorts of military memorabilia. And then finally, the sergeant's whole uniform - including 6 medals he earned in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"So all my medals, my ribbons, badges and everything that I could possibly wear out here to do my job, pretty much disappeared," he said.

Sgt. Parameswar called police, but there wasn't much they could do. so he decided to take matters into his own hands and conducted his own surveillance Monday night, from across Route 59. And low and behold, the sergeant saw the culprit back right into the center's parking lot. Police say it was 47-year old Brian Lang of Mahwah, New Jersey and that he allegedly pretended to be armed with what turned out to be a paint ball gun.

A police dispatcher advised Sgt. Parameswar to stay put, but instead he took Lang down while he waited for police to arrive.

"I just wanted my blues back. He took my uniform. That's all I wanted back," said Sgt. Parameswar.

Police say the marine was gutsy and now they're just trying to figure out the suspect's motive.

"Why he was at this recruiting station we have no idea. But hopefully, with his picture out there and his name possibly he's done this in some other areas also," said Sgt. Harry Baumann with the Clarkstown Police Department.

"Only when I got him on the ground, he said he was a Green Beret, that's when he reached for the knife," said Sgt. Parameswar.

For Sgt. Parameswar, who likes to tell potential recruits his war stories, there's one more. But if only he can get those dress blues back because for now, they're evidence in a crime.

Web produced by Maura Sweeney



VIDEO: Eyewitness News ||  VIDEO: ABC News  ||  VIEWER PHOTOS & VIDEOS ||