A 22-year-old IHOP employee stopped a robbery in progress after a man attempted to access the cash register. Elijah Arnold “heard the register popping” and went to investigate the noise. When he came within eyeshot of the register, he saw a man trying to pull cash out of the drawer and decided to take action.
As reported by Fox News, Arnold stated, “I stepped out and looked, and there he was, pulling the register out and everything, so I took off. My instinct kicked in, and I took off full speed at him.”
Arnold, a third-degree black belt, tackled the would-be robber, bringing him to the ground. Then, he held on to the robber’s foot to keep him from escaping the San Antonio, Texas, restaurant. All of the events were captured by the IHOP’s security camera.
During the altercation, Arnold was struck by a crowbar the main was carrying. The robber pleaded with Arnold during the struggle.
“He tries to start apologizing, ‘man, I’m so sorry. I know I hit you,’” said Arnold. He says the man continued, saying, “I know I’m trying to steal your money, but just give it to me. I need it really bad.”
Though Arnold was sympathetic to the robber’s plight, he did not let go.
“Two weeks ago, I wasn’t working,” said Arnold. “I was homeless.”
Arnold had just recently returned to IHOP as an employee, a location where he had worked for four years before a drug addiction led to a downward spiral, after cleaning up his life. The restaurant gave him a second chance.
“That was my money in the register,” said Arnold. “It was my manager’s money in the register. And it was my IHOP’s money in the register. And I’m not going to let anybody take that.”
The suspect was taken into custody, and Arnold said his managers were grateful for his actions.
“They just congratulated me and said thank you,” Arnold asserted, “and that was the biggest thing that I could have was the thank you from my managers.”
According to reports, one other man is still being sought in connection with the attempted robbery.