A Mexican tourist who stopped for gas in Riverside ended up foiling a robbery attempt when he locked the hooded suspect in a chokehold and pinned him to the floor until police arrived.
Surveillance video taken inside the AM-PM mini-mart Sunday shows a man in a black hooded sweatshirt lunging over the counter to grab cash from an open register.
Seconds later, a customer leaps into action and grabs the man from behind. The customer and cashier start throwing punches, and as the suspect backs down, the customer puts him in a chokehold.
"I took him by his neck," said the customer, Alfonso Miramontes.
NBC4 spoke to Miramontes from his home in Juarez, Mexico.
Miramontes said he and his family had stopped at the gas station after a weekend of sightseeing in Southern California.
When Miramontes saw the robbery in progress, his instinct was to immediately help, in part because he's a former police officer, he said.
"It was the right thing to do," Miramontes said.
The robber allegedly threatened to kill Miramontes as they both went to the ground.
For about eight minutes, Miramontes and another good Samaritan held the suspect down until Riverside police arrived.
"I was so grateful that another customer, he's helping us to grab the guy and put him on the floor," said Mohammad Hossain, a manager at the AM-PM.
Police arrested 25-year-old Yakini Gaines for attempted robbery.
Miramontes said he was glad to bring him to justice.
"I hope more people do these things," he said.
However, police said anyone witnessing a crime should call 911 instead.