Mapleton Florist Fights Off Gun-Toting Robber

A gun-wielding robber is lucky to be alive after trying to rob a Mapleton flower shop.

Florist Moti Azreal proved he is no wallflower when the crook entered his shop brandishing a weapon, reports the New York Daily News:

Azreal was working at the A&M Wholesale Flowers and Supplies on Avenue J near McDonald Ave. in Mapleton when the gunman — identified by cops as Keith Martin, 33, — came in around 5:45 p.m. on Friday and asked how much a bouquet cost, police said.
No sooner had Azreal told him it was $10 for a dozen roses than the perp pulled out the gun and held it inches from the worker’s face. He demanded Azreal’s phone and cash, police said.

Then Azreal, who served in the Israeli Defense Force, turned the tables on the would-be robber, pushing him out into the street, throwing him to the ground, and pushing the gun against Martin’s own head until police arrived and arrested him.

“As soon as he lost eye contact, I knew I got him,” Azrael told CBS.

Illeen Lopez, who works across the street, told the outlet that it was the second robbery on the commercial strip in recent days.

“It’s a really nice neighborhood, I wish people would stop robbing it,” she told CBS.

Azreal told news outlets that the Martin is lucky he couldn’t reach a machete he keeps in the corner of the store or the gunman would not have left the store in one piece.

“I’m a really, really hard worker. I didn’t want to give him my money,” Azreal told the Daily News. “I don’t work for myself, I work for my kids.”

Martin was charged with robbery, criminal possession of a weapon, menacing, assault and harassment, police said.

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