“He is lucky to be alive,” Moti Azreal, owner of A&M Wholesale Flowers and Supplies told VIN News. “He pulled the trigger on me. I had every right to kill him.”
The botched robbery took place on Friday afternoon at approximately 5:30 PM, when 33 year old Keith Martin walked into the flower shop at 105 Avenue J near McDonald Avenue.
“He came in, asked about roses and how much they are,” said Azreal. “I told him there were $10 a dozen and he pulled a gun and held it to my face.”
Martin demanded both the money in Azreal’s register and his phone.
“I told him the phone was charging and when he looked at the phone on the shelf for a second he broke eye contact,” said Azreal. “I knew I could take him.”
The 44 year old Azreal estimated that Martin was about 5’9 and 185 pounds. As a former member of a special forces unit in the Israeli Defense Force, Azreal never doubted his ability to take down the armed robber.
“I knew I could do it, no problem,” said Azreal.
The two struggled briefly inside the store, with Azreal punching Martin in the face several times. Martin dropped his gun inside the store and the confrontation continued outside on the street.
“I held him down until police came a few minutes later,” said Azreal.
Police said that they recovered Martin’s gun, a Heritage Rough Rider 22 caliber revolver, from a trash barrel.
Martin, who has three prior sealed arrests, was charged with robbery, criminal possession of a weapon, menacing, assault and harassment.
Three days after the attempted robbery, Azreal is grateful that it didn’t happen a week earlier.
“I’m glad he came after Shavuos because before Shavuos there would have been a million people in the store,” noted Azreal.