When a knife-wielding robber allegedly tried to steal a $300 drill kit from a San Jacinto tool shop, the owner of the family-run shop was rescued by his son and son-in-law, who used their own tools to thwart the heist.
Owner Tom Palmieri was manning Hemet Valley Tool about 2 p.m. Wednesday when he said a man walked in, grabbed the costly kit and left.
"I said, 'You’re not leaving with that,'" said Palmieri, who followed the man onto the sidewalk.
That’s when the man allegedly pulled out a knife and threatened to "kill" and "stab" Palmieri, the owner said.
In-store surveillance cameras captured most of the confrontation, video of which was given exclusively to NBC4 and is embedded below.
Palmieri’s son, Mike, heard the commotion.
"So I ran to the back shop and grabbed a crowbar," Mike Palmieri said.
Palmieri’s son-in-law Mark Anderson was also working at the shop at the time, and grabbed a sledgehammer before meeting his family on the sidewalk, where the alleged robber was waving a knife at the men.
"He got much more aggressive," Palmieri said. "He did come at us with a knife."
Mike Palmieri hit the suspected robber with a crowbar, forcing him to drop the knife. Unarmed, he started to run away, Anderson said.
"He tried to take off and run some direction and I ended up tripping him up with a sledgehammer and hitting him in the ankle," Anderson recalled.
The men wrestled the alleged attacker to the ground.
Nicholas Tupa, 35, was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and robbery. He remained in custody Thursday afternoon.
"They came, they helped me out," Palmieri said. "Of course, I would do the same for them, so it’s family."
Palmieri said he wants to thank two customers who also helped his family.