FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) - Ultimate Auto Deals had been robbed before, but the dealership's owner said he thought Tuesday's attempted robbery was one he could handle and wanted to stop it.
"It happened a couple times before and we have cameras, but sometimes they're not good enough," said Luis Hernandez, the dealership's owner. "This time, I said, I think I got it because I was watching him do it. I said, I'll do anything to keep him from leaving."
When police arrived at the scene Tuesday, they arrested Rodney Gray, 60, of Fort Wayne.
Hernandez said it all began when one of his salesmen was helping two men interested in buying a car shortly after lunch on Tuesday afternoon. At some point, one of the two men were able to get away from the salesman.
"One of the guys noticed [the salesman] was busy and he decided to come back in to rob us," Hernandez said.
Hernandez was in his office, which is next to the room with the cash register, and saw the robbery unfold on his security cameras.
Hernandez could be seen in the video trying to stop the man.
"I was trying to lock him in the office, but he was forcing it open and I let him come out," Hernandez said. "Then he fleas towards the door, and that's when we start wrestling in the entrance. That's when he started throwing punches at me. I throw punches at him. He was determined to get away."
When Gray got outside, other employees got involved.
"I heard the scuffling going on, so that's when I came out to the front door," Steve Pepple, a mechanic at the dealership, said.
According to Pepple, he and another worker were able to pin Gray to the ground. That's when Gray faked a heart attack to get free.
"He pulled a knife one me, so I started chasing him down," Pepple said. "Then the guy ran across the street and tried to hijack a vehicle."
A police report did say a utility knife was found in the grass by the dealership.
The auto dealership is located near Lafayette Street on the south side of the city.
According to Hernandez, the man with Gray was not involved with the crime. Hernandez even added that the man was surprised by everything that had happened.
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