WATCH: Store owner’s military training turns the table on would-be thief

convenience store

TUCSON, Ariz. (KVOA) – An Arizona convenience store owner is showing a would-be robber who is the boss.

Instead of giving into criminal demands, he gave the crook something he didn’t see coming.

Maen Mdanat is known as “The Convenience Store Man.”

Judging by the surveillance video from his store, the nickname fits.

On Saturday, Mdanat says a would-be thief entered his store and asked his clerk for cash.

Mdanat said, “I could hear him talking, saying money, and my clerk was here.”

He came out of his office and showed the suspect the door.

That’s when the alleged suspect punched Mdanat in the face.

However, the man didn’t know Mdanat was trained in an Army special forces unit.

He said, “He was comfortable walking in, showing his muscle, like, ‘I can do whatever I want.’ That’s basically the message he gave me when he walked in but I changed his idea when he walked out.”

In the five years Mdanat has owned the Axis Food Mart, crime has dropped and a sense of community has bloomed.

Peter Norback said, “People come up, don’t always have the change, he just lets them slide. No convenience store does that.”

After the beating, the suspect picks himself up and walks away.

Mdanat said, “I made sure he’s okay. I asked him, ‘You okay?”

He added, “I’m still human. I have kids and a wife.”