Timing was really pitch-perfect for a heroic stunt. A retired NYPD detective who is now working at Tourneau Store in Long Island Mall fought with an armed robber who tried to snatch a Rolex watch worth $18,000 on Tuesday.
Kenneth Krug, Roosevelt Field Mall security guard, together with two other officers namely, Leroy Bobbitt and Marcelo Espinoza, were able to pacify 21-year-old Oliver Lee, gunman. Krug grabbed the gun which caused it to jam.
The gunman managed to fire one shot before he was subdued by Krug and his colleagues. Unfortunately, a 67-year-old employee of the same mall was shot at the back. He was immediately rushed to the hospital and is reportedly in stable condition as of press time. He is expected to be released on Wednesday.
Lee has no record of prior convictions and also has no license for the gun that is in his possession. He walked in as a customer at the Rolex shop of the Tourneau store around 1pm on a Tuesday and asked for the $18,000-Rolex watch on display. Lee was then taken into a designated viewing area to check out the watch. He then immediately pulled of his gun and demanded that the watch be handed over to him.
Fortunately, Krug was monitoring the entire situation in real-time and immediately worked to disarm the suspect. The two fought over the gun which led to the main hall of the mall in which Espinoza and Bobbitt joined forces with Krug to successfully hold and remove the gun from the suspect. They were also able to successfully recover the stolen Rolex watch from the suspect.
Ed Mangano, Nassau County Executive, referred to Krug as hero believing that he looked like he was “apparently in the fight of his life.” “God knows what could have occurred had he made his way out of the store into the mall,” He added, “He really did a heroic act that day by making sure that perpetrator was detained and the gun was taken away.”
Mangano was nothing but praises too for the two other security guards – Bobbitt and Espinoza – who helped him out in his efforts. Krug suffered contusions to his hand and head while Espinoza broke his hand during the struggle with the suspect. Krug was armed at that point of fighting the suspect in the effort to disarm him. The other two security guards were unarmed.
The incident triggered a commotion and stampede amongst mall shoppers which was jam-packed at that time because of the holiday rush (three days before Christmas). There were five to 6 people injured during the fight but needed no serious medical attention. The mall was also not shut down although some stores chose to shut their doors because several shoppers rushed inside to take cover.
The suspect, Lee was charged on Wednesday with assault, criminal possession of a deadly weapon, and robbery. Lee pleaded not guilty and was ordered to be held on $750,000 bail.
Krug definitely earned his stripes from being a retired NYPD officer and now a security guard for Tourneau store as he was able to subdue an armed robber from escaping with a pricey Rolex watch. He did it quickly and without causing damage to life and property. The two other security officers also did an amazing job with helping out Krug. Three heads are definitely better than one especially in life and death scenario such as this robbery incident.
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