Retired Army lieutenant, off-duty firefighter take down robbery suspect in bar

Soldier, firefighter take down suspected armed robber

MODESTO, Calif. (KTXL/CNN) – A retired U.S. Army lieutenant and an off-duty firefighter didn’t hesitate to take down an attempted armed robber.

While retired Army Lt. Derek Hudson was finishing a burger at The Tap Room Pub & Grub on Monday night, Modesto Fire Capt. John Walker was relaxing with friends.

What happened next caught the two strangers off-guard.

Hudson said he saw a man standing outside the restaurant, wrapping a sweatshirt around his head.

Walker said he instantly knew “that this was a serious situation, and something wasn't right.”

The men said the armed suspect then shot the ceiling inside the restaurant – but Hudson noticed something odd about the gun.

“I could tell it was like an airsoft or a pellet gun at that point,” he said.

That’s when he saw his chance.

Hudson said he struggled with the suspect for the gun while trying not to point it at a nearby couple.

“Then we went to the ground,” he said.

The Modesto Bee reports the suspect then tried to run for the door, but Walker took him down.

Hudson told the newspaper that the other patrons then joined in to detain the suspect.

“I don’t think it’s any sort of heroism or anything at that point,” Walker said. “I think it’s just reacting in a situation to make things better.”

Whether or not you call it heroism, authorities said the men helped nab the suspect.

The Modesto Police Department reports officers were able to take 18-year-old Justyn Wesson into custody.

Citizens Apprehend Robbery Suspect Modesto, CA- Monday, October 21, 2019, at approximately 9:45pm, MPD received calls...

Posted by MODESTO POLICE DEPARTMENT on Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Authorities said Wesson had robbed three nearby businesses before attempting to rob The Tap Room. They described the weapon Wesson allegedly used as a “pellet gun.”

As for Hudson and Walker, the men aren’t into titles, but you might be able to call them newfound friends.

“We’re getting there, yeah. Seems like it,” Hudson said. “We’ll probably hang out.”

Investigators said Wesson is facing robbery and attempted robbery charges.

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