INDEPENDENCE, MO (WDAF) — Customers at an Independence convenience store trapped and attacked a would-be robber when he threatened a man and his daughter with a knife on Sept. 13.
Police say the suspected robber, Patrick Maze, 28, tried to rob the 7/11 at 23rd and Harrison in Independence, Mo., at about 10 p.m. They say Maze came into the store with a towel over his face and a knife in his hand. He told customers to lie on the ground and tried to grab money from the register.
Several customers who were outside the store saw what was happening and blocked the doors so Maze couldn’t escape, according to police. That’s when, witnesses say, Maze threatened a father and his 12-year-old daughter with the knife, acting like he was going to stab the man.
Police say when the customers blocking the exit saw what was happening, they ran inside to help. One of them grabbed a champagne bottle and hit the robber in the head with it. Other customers threw items at Maze. Police say the father also hit the robber with a baseball bat, and customers held the robber down until police came.
Friday morning, suspect Patrick Maze was taken to court for his arraignment on charges of Robbery 1st degree, assault and two counts of armed criminal action. He covered his face from cameras, and was apparently hiding a black eye.
While officers are grateful the customers helped them get this suspect behind bars, they would prefer that customers and clerks caught up in a robbery just give up the money and be a good witness.
“It is rare. It’s an anomaly for folks to step in like that,” said Independence Police Capt. John Cato. “Typically, it’s not something that we like to see. The best thing you can do for us is be a good witness and provide us information that leads to the capture of somebody. We’re a little hesitant to encourage anyone to step in and try to intervene in a situation like that.”
Cato added that gas station registers usually only have $50 to $100, so getting involved or attempting to fight off a robber isn’t worth it.
Maze’s next court appearance is Oct. 3.