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Mesa man tries to stop gas station robbery

Alfredo Ricci
Circle K Power and McKellips in Mesa
Posted at 10:04 PM, Feb 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-20 00:22:33-05

MESA, AZ — Alfredo Ricci's Tuesday started before the sun came up. He always stops at his local Circle K, off Power and McKellips roads, on his way into work.

"I had my heart set on a nutmeg coffee, and I had a little surprise."

The 60-year-old says the only employee inside was a woman, who he saw standing at the doorway. She motioned to Ricci, warning him to stay back, and call 911.

"I was just like dumbfounded," he said. "Next thing I know, two men run from around the corner and tried to bully their way out of the store. Of course, natural reaction, I tried to hold them back."

Ricci stood in front of the doors, hoping to keep them long enough for the store's clerk to call for police.

“One slipped away, so I started concentrating on the other one and the one that slipped away came back and hit me over the head," he said.

Ricci walked away with only a bump on his head, but after a visit to urgent care, doctors believe he may have been hit with a metal object- comparable to brass knuckles.

"I didn’t even think about them having any weapons at the moment, it was just reaction," Ricci added.

The crooks filled several large plastic bags with cigarettes from behind the counter. Ricci described the two as muscular and wearing masks that covered their faces.

The Mesa Police Department says this is just one of at least two almost identical robberies in Mesa early Tuesday morning. The first was at a different Circle K location off Power and McDowell roads just minutes before the one Ricci witnessed.

"I don’t recommend everyone to play hero, because you don’t know the circumstances," he added. "But, if I had to do it over again, I would do the same thing.”

The two suspects are still on the run, according to police. Detectives are now looking through store surveillance video from both locations hoping to identify the two men.