That’s One Way to Take Down an Armed Robber Where You’re Not Allowed to Carry

By Brandon via

One late night in a convenience store in Tonawanda, New York, a middle-aged man came in and pointed a gun at the clerk. It’s a story that plays out the usual way too many times across America. But this was New York, so concealed carriers are few and far between. So, when this bad guys reared his ugly head, thankfully there was a brave customer willing to do the work that should have been done by a good guy with a gun . . .

KOIN 6 reports that an unnamed customer approached the stick-up man, Robert M. Samson, 59, from behind with a large flashlight. Go MagLite, right? As is plain to see from the surveillance video, the armed robber doesn’t last long. Apparently, he missed all our articles on situational awareness, something we don’t mind one bit.

This could have turned badly, but thankfully didn’t. The clerk was fine. No shots were fired. And the bad guy was pretty much taken down. According to KOIN 6, Samson somehow managed to escape and hid in his attic until police arrived to take him away.

See, the thing about carrying an illegal gun and using it to commit a felony — especially in the state of New York — is that it’s a BIG felony. Samson is being held on on a $75,000 bail. As for the good guy in the video, it’s unknown what became of him or if he got any recognition. Chances are good he was just glad to be in the right place, at the right time, with the right equipment.

For all of us, though, it’s just another reminder to ABC…always be carrying.


  1. avatar ready,fire,aim says:

    should have kept him pined down better what if he had a back up piece? another clock to the head would have been better

  2. avatar Colt Magnum says:

    I’m surprised he didn’t smack the crook again when he tried getting up.

    1. avatar Don says:

      While he was still down would have been better.
      The gun appeared to be under him on the floor and near his hands. The good guy was lucky he didn’t come to his senses quicker or he might have been shot.

    2. avatar TXGal says:

      When the guy stated to get up, threat had not ended, good guy would be in the right to wrack him again. At least in Red states

    3. This didn’t look right to me. Its as if they were expecting this skinny old man to come in and try something. Looked like and ambush and they didn’t seem too concerned about the gun or the robber escaping. Seems like they enjoyed watching him stagger around a while. I think all parties here knew each other. If that robber had been a young buck negro, flashlight hero man would be one dead honky.

  3. avatar jwm says:

    Mag lights saved my bacon a couple of times while I was working security. A four cell D model makes a hell of an impact weapon. And you already have it in your hand at 3am when the stupid starts.

    1. avatar ready,fire,aim says:

      you didn’t work in L,A back in the 90’s did you….LOL

  4. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    Hey there’s a wonderful story outa’ Chiraq about a booze store on 87th st, where the employee shot two armed wayward youts to death. And near applause from the news media. Even the local “community ORGANizer” didn’t pizz and moan about the death of teen robbers(maybe Andrew Holmes gets it after his own daughter was murdered in a drive-by last year-but in Indiana)…guns save life.

  5. avatar BobS says:

    Around 00:56, I thought the “good guy with a maglite” was about to ND himself.

    1. avatar Russell says:

      Haha, looked right down the barrel he did.

      1. avatar notalima says:

        Lol. I got to that part of the video cringed badly. DOH!

        1. avatar BDub says:

          Same. I let out an audible , “whoa!”.

  6. avatar Mark says:

    He should have shot the criminal in the face after retrieving the gun. No reason to clog up the prison system even more….

    1. avatar Eye-roller says:

      Yes, because first-degree murder is such a desirable thing to do. We should encourage as many good guys as possible to commit first-degree murder.


      1. avatar gs650g says:

        Crook walked towards him. That’s an advance and would be considered a threatening move. He’s lucky he didn’t get drilled by the clerk too, but since it’s new York he’s very lucky ky.

        1. avatar BDub says:

          I think you have his outfit confused with that of a Law Enforcement Officer.

  7. avatar Omer Baker says:

    Walk softly and carry a big flashlight. Teddy was on par with most of the crooks, but there are some great one liners associated with him.

  8. avatar Jimbo says:

    If this was New York, wouldn’t the TV station’s call letters start with “W”?

    1. avatar Rob C says:

      Originating station was WIVB out of Buffalo, NY.

  9. avatar Dave in SoCal says:

    “ABC…always be carrying”

    Coffee is for Carriers.

    1. avatar Rokurota says:

      You call yourself a sheepdog, you son of a bitch?

      1. avatar Azics says:

        You wanna know what it takes to be a sheepdog? It takes brass balls to be a sheepdog.

    2. avatar 80 D says:

      Damn. All I got was a set of steak knives.

  10. avatar Bob R says:

    Gee, even with that extra BIG felony law they still had guy with a gun robbing people…

    1. avatar Chrispy says:

      Considering the guy looking down the barrel of the gun in his own hand, I would say it’s a safe assumption the flashlight wielding good guy does not have a pistol permit…

      I know it’s at least a misdemeanor, but I *think* it’s a felony in this wonderful state to handle a handgun without a permit.

      1. avatar Gary Schulze says:

        It is a felony, but not being NYC, he probably wouldn’t have gotten into trouble. Now NYC and especially NJ and they would have locked him up and thrown away the key. Just because.

  11. avatar Matt says:

    And the irony here is that cops consider the maglite flashlight as a bludgeon or impact weapon. Hence the reluctance of the good samaritan to stick around.

    1. avatar John says:

      a what?….its a flashlight and he could have shot the guy and been legally allowed to if he was indeed a CHL holder….

      1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        The bystander who intervened would not be in trouble for using force in that scenario. The bystander would be in trouble because he was carrying a bludgeon. In other words, if a bludgeon were laying on the ground or a shelf, the man could legally pick it up to use it for self defense. The problem is that he possessed it before he was aware that a violent crime was taking place.

        Note: I am not defending the legal landscape in New York. I am merely explaining the supposed “rationale”.

        1. avatar Gary Schulze says:

          He was carrying a flashlight, not a bludgeon. He was probably going in the store to put new batteries in it. That’s his story and he’s sticking to it.

  12. avatar James69 says:

    I’m of the mag-light and revolver crowd. Don’t see the advantage of the tiny strobelights, with the 15 min run time on $6 dollar batteries.

    1. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

      Is that a C cell Mag Lite in your pants or are you just happy to see me?

  13. avatar Hannibal says:

    Hey, if he wants to risk his life for someone else’s money who doesn’t care enough to protect it themselves, whatever…

  14. avatar Model 31 says:

    I had a 4-cell mag light a few years back. That’s about all mine was good for too.

  15. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    You can get a LED replacement “bulb” module that makes a Mag light brighter than it ever was, while retaining the useful heft and swing that a modern “combat flashlight” lacks.

  16. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    Notice the left side of the bad guys head? A bit o blood there. I’m betting on a decent head injury.
    Maybe when he wakes up in jail, his favorite vegetable will be himself!

    1. avatar Anonymous says:

      That’s what I thought too. Looked a bit concussive. I would have tackled him for the cops to arrive so he would go to the hospital first rather than stumble off somewhere to die.

      1. avatar Felix says:

        Problem with direct physical contact is not knowing what the guy is capable of. I’m old enough that if I had just clocked that bad guy, I’d want to be far enough away that he couldn’t get his younger hands on me.

        1. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

          I’d have to agree. If you’re 59 years old and robbing a convenience store in the middle of the night, it’s safe to assume that some life decisions may not have turned out as you had hoped.

          Some of those could be in the realm of sexual conduct or recreational substance use, the consequences of which can be transmitted via direct contact with bodily fluids during a fight. If I have a choice, include me out.

        2. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

          Part of our personal protection/haz-mat/first aid training was “if it’s wet, and not yours, don’t touch it”.
          This was always followed by snickers, guffaws, and snorts. But the message sank in.

        3. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          I prefer to avoid “hands on” for the very reason (potential bio-hazard) that Jonathan – Houston explained.

        4. avatar Anonymous says:

          Sorry – I still would have tackled him – call me foolish. And if it happened exactly the same way today – I’d still tackle him. Given his “extreme” disorientation – he may have a major concussion and possibly subdermal hematoma. Given my build versus his skinny 59 yr old disoriented self in the video – I don’t think I’d have any problem keeping him at bay until authorities arrived. If he didn’t wander off and die and instead survived he may pull a similar stunt again.

  17. avatar Mk10108 says:

    Nice to know the state of NY wants its citizen to harmed by criminals. You get what you vote for.

    1. avatar Hannibal says:

      It’s too bad that the state of NY is largely ruled by NYC which imposes its rules on the state- except that it declares itself to have “home rule” just so it can make sure it has its special rules that prohibit anyone with a state carry permit from using it in NYC!

    2. avatar Defens says:

      Didn’t the SAFE act just restrict the number of batteries you can load into your assault flashlight?

      1. avatar Chrispy says:

        It did, but got overturned!

  18. avatar Slimjim9 says:

    Good for him, but who just happens to carry a giant flashlight into a convenience store? If he saw the robbery taking place, retrieved the flashlight from his vehicle and went in swinging, I’m kinda thinking he’s on shaky legal ground in most states.

    1. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

      I’ve seen it. I worked in convenience stores for a total of four years across high school and college. Many stores are surrounded by apartment complexes, in sketchy neighborhoods, and it wasn’t too unusual for people to walk to the stores late at night. Some carried large flashlights for the illumination itself, while others carried them specifically as weapons with plausible deniability; since actual clubs are illegal weapons. That’s Texas, though. Mileage may vary in NY.

    2. avatar Ardent says:

      What shaky legal ground? Force, including deadly force, to defend another is allowed under the same rules as defense of self. If this guy saw the clerk being held at gunpoint and decided to intervene he’d be within the law, out of his mind perhaps, but within the law.

      1. avatar Chrispy says:

        Maybe in America, but this is NY we’re talking about!

        1. avatar Gary Schulze says:

          Tonawanda is a northern suburb of Buffalo, which is the farthest you can get from NY City. It’s probably a good 8-9 hour drive, so stop confusing most of the state with it.

          That said, like any other state it all depends on the local culture and the justice system. I doubt the good Samaritan would have had any problem with the police, but Tonawanda is bout 70 miles west of me. In my county there were two self defense cases a couple of years ago. They both were acquitted and I’m not so sure they should have been. Anyways, it does show which way people lean around here.

      2. avatar Slimjim9 says:

        You’re probably right. I was thinking of situations like a husband confronts a wife in the yard, the wife goes in the house to get a gun, then goes back outside – she is now the aggressor and things get dicey if she then shoots him. In this case , the Good Sam would not have been in imminent danger until he entered the store. Easy to MMQ this stuff.

  19. avatar Gary Schulze says:

    Maybe the good guy didn’t hang around because he picked up the gun. That’s a felony even if he has a pistol permit because you can’t possess a gun if it’s not listed on your permit. Since this is Western NY and not NYC, I doubt the police would’ve charged him, but you never know.

    1. avatar neiowa says:

      The good sam has never seen a TV popo drama? Never pick the gun up. push/kick it away seems to be good advice. And smack the guy again if he trys to get up.

    2. avatar John says:

      Self defense is an affirmative defense, he reasonably feared for his life considering the robber still had access to the weapon, so the good guy goes and picks up the weapon to end the threat. This was not illegal even if he was a felon.

  20. avatar Paul53 says:


  21. avatar gipper says:

    JUST CURIOUS, HOW IS A TV STATION (KOIN 6) FROM PORTLAND, OR, being referenced about a story from New York, Instead of the Affiliate originating the story from New York?

  22. avatar Libertarian says:

    An criminal have criminized the goods since over 100 years and takem there fundamental right away !
    Thats is how the gouverment there work against the people and for the criminals over 100 years now !!

  23. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

    1. Good on this guy for giving the BG a few solid wallops and ruling the day.

    2. In the wrong county, with the wrong DA, is could be a risky venture. The muggles don’t look too kindly on self reliance, or as they like to call it, “vigilantism.”

    The good guy was smart to make like a tree and get out of there.

    1. avatar John says:

      lol no, article 35 clearly states up to deadly force could have been used to protect the life of a third party.

      1. avatar gipper says:

        If the guy with the flashlight was in the store too, was he not at risk as the clerk of being shot?

  24. avatar andrea says:

    ActuallY I too was surprised by the clumsy handling of the gun by the Good Guy. In his defense it may be said that if he never had the opportunity of handle a gun before because of silly laws… (Happened to an acquaintance of mine who performed a spectacular ND – luckily without consequences to people – in handling her deceased grandpa’s shotgun while checking a cabinet)

    On another note I would say that the Good Guy’s holding the gun was lawful because it was done to prevent the Bad Guy from using it.

    Finally, IMHO he did the right thing in not trying to restraint the Bad Guy. The immediate threat to life was clearly avoided.

    Lastly, I am comfortably sitting in an armchair, sipping a cup of Lapsang Souchong while the Good Guy was there, in an adrenalin rush, with a handgun and a bad guy near him. So anything he decided to do I am in no position to judge.


    Ciao dall’Italia

  25. avatar PeterK says:

    “Samson somehow managed to escape”?

    Seems like they let him go when he wasn’t a threat. The convenience store worker seems to be in shock. Not sure about the other guy.

  26. avatar Shwiggie says:

    My old 6 D-cell got me out of a major jam in high school. Luckily I was close to the car and could get it…if I’d had it at the start of the festivities I might have saved myself a follow-up trip to the doctor.

  27. avatar Larry says:

    Ccw’s few and far between ? Well I live less than an hour from where this happened, many of my friends , family, co – workers, neighbors have carry permits .

    Now while Erie county ( where this was ) is a bit harder requiring , more steps to obtain one, I know many there who,have one as well .

  28. avatar foo dog says:

    Good Sam done good, IMHO.

    Stopped the threat and did no more damage once threat stopped. Given how groggy the bad guy was, if Good Sam HAD hit him again, or worse, shot him after, then the vid would have been proof of assault charges filed by some over-zealous liberal prosecutors.

    I dunno about picking up the gun- I am not a lawyer, nor do I pretend to be one on the innertubz.
    It seemded reasonable precaution to me- if he was unfamiliar with it- he probably realized he had no clear idea how to unload it, and holding it was safer than leaving it on the ground, or with the clerk.

  29. avatar Wrightl3 says:

    Maybe those few hits on the head will knock some cents into that criminal.

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