LYNNWOOD, Wash. -- A 19-year-old ice cream shop employee came face to face with an armed robber, but she refused to willingly hand over the money -- and punched the guy as he reached into the cash register.
It happened at a Lynnwood Baskin-Robbins, where the robbery was caught on video.
Rachael Bishop has worked at the Lynnwood location for nearly a year.
“I just really love working for Baskin-Robbins,” Bishop said Thursday.
However, the 19-year-old took that love for her job to another level Wednesday afternoon, when she said a man came in wanting more than a sweet treat.
“He unzips his jacket and shows me he has a gun,” said Bishop. “He said, 'I need all your money right now!' And I said, sir, please don’t do this.”
The entire exchange is caught on the store’s surveillance video, where it appears Bishop pleads with the man, but when it doesn’t work, she fights back.
“He reached for the money twice, and then I swatted his hand and then he reached for it again, and I started punching him, and then he punched me back and that’s when he took most of the money and ran out."
Bishop said she then went after the man through the parking lot, calling others to help. They are actions Lynnwood police credit to eventually locating the suspected robber in the nearby woods.
“The reality is that people kind of react as they react,” said Lynnwood Police Commander Jim Nelson. “In this case, she fought back and didn’t want to be a victim of this crime.”
While the situation may have ended well this time, Lynnwood police caution people from taking matters into their own hands, as does Bishop’s boss, Chris Ahn, who gave his employee words of advice for next time.
“So I trained yesterday and said next time be careful and just give them the money,” said Ahn. “Save the life.”
Bishop admits she’s still shaken up by what happened, but not enough to keep her from the job she loves.
“I actually worked after I got robbed,” said Bishop. “My boss was, like, you can go home, but I actually need my hours. I have to stay.”
Lynnwood police later arrested a 44-year-old suspect for the robbery. They say he also had an outstanding felony warrant for forgery.