Ambridge store clerk with gun thwarts attempted robbery

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AMBRIDGE, Pa. —

A Beaver County store clerk with a real gun thwarted a robbery by a suspect armed only with a BB pistol.

Authorities said 42-year-old James Hayes, of Ambridge, remained jailed Monday on a charge that he tried to rob Moh's Market.

Police said surveillance video showed Hayes entering the Ambridge store about 3:45 p.m. Saturday and pointing his gun at the clerk, Abdul Belaouni, who responded by pulling a real gun on Hayes.

Belaouni said he works hard for what he has and he was simply protecting his store.

The surveillance video showed the altercation between the two men as Belaouni wrestled Hayes to the ground, trying to hold him until police arrived.

"He showed a lot of restraint. It could have been a lot worse. Thank God nobody was shot," Sgt. Brian Jameson said.

According to police, Hayes ran away, but they caught him nearby a short time later when a woman yelled that a man with a gun had just run into her apartment.

Interim Police Chief James Mann said Hayes "is one of the world's dumbest, and luckiest to be alive, criminals."