So I have, in several posts, given you all of the positives that come along with Martial Arts training. I have even gone as far as to cite specific examples of martial artists doing heroic deeds like saving a family from a burning house. Yes, this blog will do the same, but more along the heroism of crime fighting. I certainly wouldn’t condone anyone attempting what the young man I’m about to describe did, but it is nice to hear a story of martial art’s effectiveness that also ends happily. The story is out of Albuquerque New Mexico, where there is certainly a lot of martial arts training going on.
The local Police say a martial arts instructor took down the suspect of a robbery in progress. Per a police report, two male subjects with t-shirts wrapped around their heads ran into the Dollar General Store at 840 Juan Tabo Boulevard around 8:44 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 27th. Both men were armed with knives and threatened the clerk, who moved from behind the counter. The men proceeded to remove the cash register drawers from the registers. One suspect took the drawer and proceeded to exit the store, while the other suspect who was later identified as Tyrone Yazzie, remained in the store, struggling to remove the drawer from its register.
The alleged thieves had no idea that the instructor from the martial arts school next door was watching the whole thing go down. According to the report, Beau Velasquez was in the parking lot watching his students run exercises in his dojo. Velasquez watched as the suspects entered the store and began the robbery, then he ran to the front of the store, tackling the first suspect who was leaving with the register, knocking the register out of the suspect’s hands. “I just grabbed him,” said Velasquez. “Grabbed him by his head and kind of slammed him on the ground. We wrestled. At that time the money box had already fallen.” That subject was slipping from Velasquez’ grasp, however, so Velasquez let him go and went inside the store to concentrate on Yazzie.
Velasquez tackled Yazzie to the ground, police say, knocking the knife to the floor. Another man from the martial arts school came to help Velasquez detain Yazzie until police arrived. “I’m glad one of them at least is taken off the streets so he can’t terrorize anybody else,” said Velasquez. Velasquez says Yazzie asked to be let go while he had him on the ground.“Once we had him on the ground, the guy was, you know, kind of crying. “C’mon on man, let me go, please, please,’” said Velasquez.
“And it’s like, man, how are you gonna cry after you just tried robbing somebody?“~ Velasquez
To me that is a typical response of someone who preys on the weak. At the time, nobody knew the extent of Yazzie’s criminal accolades. Police believe this latest event was Yazzie’s seventh robbery in the last two months.
So Velasquez stopped a guy that not only robbed the Dollar Store next to his studio, he probably prevented a whole bunch more robberies from happening. Police say the spree started at a Family Dollar store on Juan Tabo Boulevard and went on to include the robberies of a Check and Go, a Ross Dress for Less, a Big Lots, an At-Home, and a Walmart. But it wasn’t until Velasquez tackled Yazzie at the Dollar General that Yazzie was finally arrested. There are heros out there. You always hear law enforcement and firefighters saying “Don’t be a hero.” Very understandable, but “Don’t be a victim,” is what Velasquez says. “Train. I know it’s scary sometimes, but this happens on the regular, you know, so don’t be a victim.” I agree with him. You don’t have to go out and try to be a vigilante like the movie Kick-A (rest left out as explicit). It just further demonstrates my point that martial artists are a different breed.