LAWRENCE – When a masked man walked into his South Union Street liquor store Sunday night wearing a mask in 90-degree heat, Arturo Taveras knew something was up.
And when the masked man pulled a gun on him and demanded “all his money,” Taveras, 69, took his own gun off his right hip and pointed it right back at the would-be robber.
Taveras, 69, who was pistol-whipped and tied up with electrical tape during a March 2011 attempted robbery at McCann’s Liquors, was not about to be victimized again.
Taveras’ quick action Sunday night paid off and he successfully thwarted another attempted robbery of his liquor store. When he saw Taveras’ gun, the attempted robber was spooked and ran from the 253 So. Union St. store around 10:30 p.m.
“I was shocked to see him, then I realized right away that it was an attempted robbery because he came into the store with a gun in his hand. I think I reacted well because he turned around and left ... When I find myself in situations like this, I always think ‘the coward one dies first’ so I push all fears aside,’” he said.
As the suspect ran away, Taveras cautiously watched through his glass front door, later telling police the suspect fled south on South Union Street and then ran west on nearby Andover Street.
Detectives yesterday were reviewing surveillance tape from the liquor and searching for the attempted robber.
Standing 6 feet tall with an athletic build, the man was wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, dark blue jeans and dark shoes. He was masked and also had his hood pulled up over his head. He carried a black gun in his right hand, which he held across his waist, according to a report by officer Carl Farrington.
The criminal said “Give me all you money,” in English, with no noticeable accent, Taveras told police.