Cops Nab Suspect in Dramatic Liquor Store Robbery


Police had a pretty clear picture of who they were looking for from surveillance video taken during a Waterbury liquor store.

Not only did the robber face the camera, but he did not leave the store right away, partly because an employee and an elderly man started hitting him with a baseball bat.

Police say they have nabbed their suspect -- John Yates, 29, of Waterbury. They identified him as a suspect on Monday.

Richard Riley, 70, helped thwart the robbery on Friday.

Ranjit Keshwala and his father, Dilip Keshwala, were in the store on Friday night when a man – identified as Yates -- tried to rob the store at gunpoint.

Instead of being intimidated, Riley and the clerk fought back -- with a baseball bat.

Surveillance footage caught it all on tape.
“All of a sudden, a guy comes in through the front door and he fires,” Ranjit Keshwala said.

The shot barely missed Dilip Keshwala, the longtime liquor storeowner and the armed man took cash.

But he did not leave. That’s when Riley, a neighbor, came in and to the rescue.

“Then he pulled out the gun he says I'm gonna shoot somebody. I went crazy. I said ‘you're gonna shoot me, I'm gonna fight ya,’” Riley said.

Fight he did.

During the scuffle, the intruder fired a second bullet.

So, Riley said, he gave his friend a pretty clear order.

“Beat this sucker with a bat,” Riley said.

“He wanted to take the gun out of the guy's hands you know,” Ranjit Keshwala said.
Father and son said they are grateful for their hometown hero.

“If I see a crime going down and I can stop it, I'm gonna do it,” Riley said.

Yates has an extensive criminal history and was convicted of kidnapping and robbery, police said. He will appear in court on Tuesday.

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