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IHOP Waiter Fights Off Would-Be Robber With Mixed Martial Arts

The robber had no idea he was messing with a black belt
jetcityimage / istockphoto.com

An IHOP employee with a special set of skills fought an alleged robber who was trying to steal money from the restaurant’s cash register. Elijah Arnold, who works as a waiter in San Antonio, is trained as a third-degree black belt in mixed martial arts.

“I just heard the register popping,” he told a local ABC affiliate. “I stepped out and looked and there he was pulling the register out and everything so I just took off, my instinct kicked in and I took off full speed at him.”

During the early-morning robbery, which happened around 6 a.m. October 12, the perpetrator hit Arnold with a crow bar, injuring his nose. Due to his martial arts training, the 22-year-old was still able to take the crook down and hold him until police arrived on the scene.

He continued: “He tries to start apologizing and, ‘Man I’m so sorry. I know I hit you. I know I’m trying to steal your money, but just give it to me. I need it really bad,’ and everything like that.”

Arnold told WFAA.com that in some ways, he can relate to the attempted thief. Four years into his employment with IHOP, he found himself homeless and addicted to drugs. Since then, he cleaned up and management gave him a second chance — which he says is one of the reasons why he was so quick to act in apprehending the robber.

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