Lawrence officer who foiled gas station robbery says he was in right place at right time
Officer meets robber at store exit
Last Updated: 243 days ago
LAWRENCE, Ind. - A Lawrence police officer credited with foiling a gas station robbery said he's just glad he was in the right place at the right time.
The Rickers station at 9235 E. 56th St. was held up just after 11 p.m. Tuesday by a man who asked for cigarettes and then pointed a gun at the clerk and demanded cash, police said.
Just as the man was leaving with the cash drawer in hand, Officer Dan Rhoton in full uniform was walking up to the store, surveillance video shows.
Rhoton said he noticed a man hurrying toward the exit and then saw that the clerk had her hands up in the air. He pulled his gun, ordered the robber to the ground and arrested the man.
"I was in the right place, at the right time, and I was fortunate enough to have everything work in my favor," he said in a statement Thursday.
Gas station customers said they were grateful for Rhoton's quick thinking.
"We are always saying what (police) don't do. This time they did it, and they did it right," said James Banks.
"We were lucky and we are blessed. Things can happen anywhere," Edilia Lugo said. "We were lucky we had a policeman available."
Police later identified the robber as Hliafi Derricott, 26, who was wanted on warrant on suspicion of carrying a handgun without a license, investigators said.
Investigators recovered three packs of stolen Newport cigarettes and an undisclosed amount of cash.
Derricott was arrested on preliminary charges of robbery, criminal recklessness, pointing a firearm and carrying a handgun without a license.
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