Shoppers restrain alleged pharmacy robber in Walgreens store - New York News

Shoppers restrain alleged pharmacy robber in Walgreens store

Posted: Updated:
Piotr M. Zwolinski Piotr M. Zwolinski
MESA, Ariz. -

Caught on camera: Bystanders jumped into action and tackled a man who had just robbed a pharmacy.

Officer say the suspect went into the Walgreens at McKellips and Lindsay Roads in Mesa on Wednesday afternoon.

Clothing was covering his face when he demanded money from the clerk.

"She had kind of a blank stare on her face, saw her hand full of 20s, so I knew right then he was trying to rob the place," says customer Dustin Hollander.

He was given some cash -- but he didn't get away.

"I ran around behind him and blocked his exit. Threw my stuff down, told him no you're not robbing, you're not getting out of here," says Hollander.

"Dustin yells, grab him!" says Jacob Heward. "Completely surprised... Is he going to hurt anybody, does he have a weapon?"

With his exit blocked, Hollander tackled the robber. Video shows them wrestling in the cosmetics aisle.

"He was saying, you're hurting me, you're hurting me, you're attacking me," says Hollander. "Then he shoves his dirty fingers in my mouth, like 3 of them, and I couldn't do anything about it. I wanted to bite him, but I didn't want him to bleed."

"Once he was down, we had him, we were on either side of him, and he wasn't going anywhere. We did what we had to do," says Heward.

Police showed up and took the man into custody. He was identified as Piotr M. Zwolinski, 30. Zwolinski later told police that he was desperate for money and had heard how "easy" it was to rob stores, according to court paperwork.

Zwolinski is a Polish national who moved to the U.S. nine years ago. The Polish Consulate has been notified of his arrest.

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