SEVILLE, Fla. – Customers at a Kangaroo convenience store thwarted an attempted robbery Sunday night.
Calvin Reese, 47, entered the store on U.S. 17 around 9 p.m. asking for money, according to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.
The cashier told Reese that she did not have any money to give him.
Reese went over to her side of the counter, grabbed her, threw her to the floor and started kicking her, the Sheriff’s Office said.
The victim was able to stand up, scream for help and bang on the store’s windows.
Tyrone Jenkins said he was standing in the parking lot of the Kangaroo Express when his girlfriend noticed the cashier was banging on the store window screaming. That's when he ran inside to help.
"When I get to the car, I see my my girl's eyes get big and she looked like she'd seen a ghost," Jenkins said. "She started screaming, 'Baby, he's choking her. He's choking her.'"
Jenkins said he was about to start pumping gas when Reese started attacking the cashier.
"When I turned around, dude behind the counter -- dude got the lady, choking her up and everything," Jenkins said. "All I thought was, 'Aw, man, I gotta go in and help her.'"
When he got inside, Jenkins said the cashier had been slammed to the floor multiple times.
Reese was kicking her over and over. He said he acted fast and jumped over the counter to stop him.
"The only thing I can think of is, 'I gotta get him off her,' so when I ran over there, we get into it," Jenkins said.
Jenkins said he remembered seeing a deputy patrolling the area and flagged him down. He told his girlfriend to hold the door, keeping the suspect inside the store.
"I went outside, I saw him, I flagged him down," Jenkins said. "My girl was holding the door because he was trying to get out the door. I told her, 'Don't let him leave. Don't let him leave."
Reese appeared before a judge Monday afternoon. He's charged with robbery and battery.
He remains in the Volusia County Jail without bail.
Jenkins said he's glad he was there for the victim and figures it could have been much worse.
"I hope if a person sees that happening, I hope they would do that for my family, you know?" Jenkins said.