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Sanitation worker honored for foiling robbery at Manhattan 7-Eleven

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Tim Fleischer has the story. (WABC)

This was not Curtis Jackson's typical day at work, receiving an armload of awards and even his own action figure.

"He didn't want to see anyone get hurt. So he just saved the day," said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

And even a shout out from the mayor didn't faze this mild-mannered city sanitation worker who was honored for his quick actions and bravery.

"I think there is a hero in all of us," said Jackson.

Curtis and his partner had stopped by a 7-Eleven last Tuesday and suddenly found themselves, as store surveillance cameras reveal, in the midst of an attempted robbery.

Without hesitation he jumped into action. Jackson's heroics can be seen as he approaches the would-be thief and wrestled the man to the ground.

"First I reached for whatever he had in his hand," said Curtis. "That was the most important thing. And then I grabbed him and apprehended him and held him."

A grateful city honored Curtis with several awards and kind words from his commissioner.

"Weren't you scared? Weren't you nervous about jumping into a robbery in progress? And he said no, he just wanted to make sure everyone was safe," said Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia.

It would also seem, as others tell the story that Curtis, a former Marine, is no stranger to reaching out and helping others.

But the best moment came when he received one more honor: an action figure befitting a true hero. Curtis "Action" Jackson, who will come back to work tomorrow like it's any other day.

Curtis was taking a break from his Sanitation Department job when he watched a man approach the front counter of a convenience store and demand money from the cashier.

"I noticed a gentleman with his hand, at first; I didn't know what it was. I saw him just like this pointing what appeared to be a weapon at the cashier. I thought it was a weapon, I thought it was a gun," Jackson said.

Without so much as a second to think, the 44-year-old quickly and quietly weaved through the 7-Eleven's aisles and snuck up behind the would be thief.

"I just crept down, came this way, and I walked and I saw him and I ran up on him and I just grabbed what I thought was the weapon and shook it away," Jackson said.

The suspect didn't have a gun, just a tube of lip balm and a card in his hand.

Still, this Bushwick, Brooklyn hero didn't take any chances, instead using his training as a former Marine to hold him down until police arrived inside the at the corner of 23rd and Park.

"I just wanted to stop what was going on. I didn't want to get shot. I didn't want my partner to get shot. I didn't want the cashier to get shot. I just wanted everyone to go home safe," Jackson said. "I don't feel like a hero, I just feel like I did something that should have been done."

In spite of a struggle, Jackson held the suspect down until officers arrived.

The suspect, Nicholas Mecina, faces a robbery and a weapon charge.

Police say he's homeless and has a lengthy criminal record.

And since everything turned out well in the end, Jackson is hoping his good luck will continue with a full-time Sanitation Department position, and maybe a wife and kids too!

After the story aired, he was dealing with his new found fame and getting back to doing a great job for the Sanitation Department.


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