Crime

The middle-of-the-night gas stop by spring breakers turned into fight for their lives

Victims turn the tables on armed robbers in Broward

A pair or robbers got much more trouble than they bargained for when they chose to rob four spring breakers before sunrise on March 24, 2019 at an Oakland Park gas station.
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A pair or robbers got much more trouble than they bargained for when they chose to rob four spring breakers before sunrise on March 24, 2019 at an Oakland Park gas station.

An armed robber thought he had easy late-night prey at an Oakland Park gas station Sunday. Instead he and his getaway driver found four Indiana natives who weren’t about to give up cash or take any nonsense.

They did take the robber’s gun, however, during a 40-second struggle at the Mobil gas station, 901 W. Oakland Park Blvd. And Alex Wisbey and Aric Wisbey and their cousins, Aric Tanoos and Jacob Tanoos, lived to finish out their vacation.

They also took down “079 MLZ,” the license plate of the black Hyundai. That and surveillance video led Fort Lauderdale police to Kevin Campbell, 33. He’s charged with armed robbery, giving a false identification to law enforcement and resisting arrest without violence. His bond is $10,100.

An arrest affidavit said Campbell confessed to being the driver, but claimed he didn’t know passenger “C.J.” was armed or planning robbery.

Broward Sheriff’s Office said C.J. remains at large.

Gas station surveillance video shows Alex Wisbey, Aric Tanoos and Jacob Tanoos standing between their Volkswagen and the gas pump around 3:35 a.m. Sunday when a black Hyundai pulls up a couple of pumps away. A corpulent man wearing a striped shirt gets out of the passenger side and trots over to the three Terre Haute, Indiana, natives, a Taurus 9mm gun in his left hand.

The affidavit says the gunman ordered, “Give me everything you got!”

So, they did.

Jacob Tanoos, who lives in Fort Lauderdale, tried to move past the gunman but was held in check by one arm. Meanwhile, Aric Tanoos began grabbing for the gun. The robber whipped Aric Tanoos off him and to the ground. But before the gunman could do anything else, Alex Wisbey grabbed him from behind. With Aric Tanoos’ help, Alex Wisbey forced the robber to the ground, although he was under the portly criminal.

“When I noticed the gun, it was fight mode automatically for me,” Alex Wisbey said during a Tuesday news conference. “I was not going to let my family get injured at any point. I understood what could’ve happened when I approached the gunman and got him from behind. I knew that there was the possibility I could be shot and killed. I knew that. That’s my family. We die for each other.”

By this point, Aric Wisbey had emerged from the back of the Volkswagen. He tried to get the gunman off his brother while Aric Tanoos pounded the robber’s upper back and head.

This is when a shirtless Campbell barreled out of his car and knocked Aric Tanoos off the robber. For a few seconds, a two-on-two wrestling match rolled around the concrete before Campbell and Alex Wisbey yanked each other away. Aric Wisbey yanked the gun away from “C.J.”

After Alex Wisbey kicked himself free from Campbell, he scrambled up and backed up in preparation for Campbell’s charge. Campbell approached without the use of his arms — both were busy keeping his pants from dragging the ground and tripping him.

Before Campbell could figure out how to dual task — hold up his pants and fight Alex Wisbey — he figured out Aric Wisbey had grabbed the robber’s gun. Campbell and the gunman retreated to their car as Aric Wisbey held the gun on them.

The gun, according to the arrest report, had been stolen in a 2017 car burglary.

Since 1989, David J. Neal’s domain at the Miami Herald has expanded to include writing about Panthers (NHL and FIU), Dolphins, old school animation, food safety, fraud, naughty lawyers, bad doctors and all manner of breaking news. He drinks coladas whole. He does not work Indianapolis 500 Race Day.


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