A regular at a St. Louis bar was completely unfazed by an armed robber who stormed the watering hole. In fact, he lit up a cigarette moments after facing the barrel of the pistol.
Tony Tovar was relaxing with a beer at the decades-old Behrmann’s Tavern when a gunman entered, demanding customers and staff get on the ground and hand over their cash and phones, according to NBC affiliate KSDK.
Surveillance video dated Aug. 28 shows people fled, hid or hit the ground, save for Tovar who remained seated at the bar as the suspected robber pressed what bartender Dustin Krueger described as a “heavily modified pistol” against Tovar’s arm.
“I said not another punk trying to pull a punk move,” Tovar said to KSDK. “I’m so tired of people in South City thinking they can control people because they wanna muscle their way in with firearms or attitudes or some sort of aggression.”
When the thief tried to grab Tovar’s cellphone out of his hand, Tovar resisted, keeping his grip on the phone before the gunman gave up. Tovar then calmly placed his phone on the bar in front of him, the video showed.
When the thief made his way behind the bar, seemingly looking for a cash register as he waved his gun, Tovar casually lit up a cigarette.
“I wasn’t really concerned. I just had a really good feeling he wasn’t out to harm anybody, he just wanted drug money,” Tovar said.
The suspect has not been identified, according to St. Louis Police. An incident report said he took people’s property and removed money from the cash register before fleeing. The report, which listed five male victims and one female victim, said no injuries were reported.
While he said he would “absolutely not” change the way he reacted to an apparent brush with death, he wouldn’t recommend others react the same way.
“It’s probably not your best interest if they have a loaded … firearm, I wouldn’t suggest that to just anybody.”
The robbery was only the second the bar has seen since opening in the 1930s, according to KSDK.