Video: Mixed Martial Arts Fighters Take Down Would-be Robber at Vermont Avenue Hotel, LAPD Says
A pair of mixed martial arts fighters in town for a tournament foiled a robbery at a motel south of Hollywood, the LAPD reported over the weekend. They basically held the suspect, disarmed him and came really close to kicking his ass.
The backpack wearing suspect strolled into the place and held what cops said was an armed 9 mm handgun to a clerk, who gave him cash, according to a department statement.
But as all this was happening the duo from Oregon was just getting out of the elevator at the lobby level. They went into action like MMA superheroes:
According to the LAPD:
The pair grabbed the suspect who was holding a gun in his right hand. During the tussle with the suspect, the Good Samaritans repeatedly asked him to drop the gun and stop struggling. The pair was finally able to wrestle the gun from the suspect and took him to the ground with a leg sweep and then held him on the ground until Rampart Division officers arrived.
Police wouldn't identity the hotel, saying only that it was in the 300 block of North Vermont Avenue. But a quick online search revealed there's only one hotel on that block, a Comfort Inn at 321 N. Vermont.
It happened on 11:40 p.m Wednesday, but police didn't reveal the situation until Friday.
View Larger Map
The good guys were ID'd by the Los Angeles Times as martial arts studio owner Brent Alvarez, 33, and student Billy Denney, 28.
The two were headed to the World Jiu-Jitsu No-Gi Championship in Long Beach Saturday.
Alvarez told the paper the suspect said he did it for his daughter and that he begged the duo to let him go. "... He just seemed like someone who had run out of options," Alvarez said.
Still, he told the Times he should have knocked him out for safety's sake.
The LAPD states " ... a loaded 9mm handgun and the money taken from the cash register were found inside [the suspect's] backpack ... "
Alas, there was no ground-and-pound. Only tussling and holding.
Cops say the robber is 31-year-old Luis Rosales. He was booked on suspicion of armed robbery and jailed in lieu of $101,000 bail, according to the LAPD.
The suspect was, apparently, unhurt.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss LA Weekly's biggest stories.