Security guard disarmed shooter at strip club and prevented mass shooting, police say
A brave security guard likely staved off a mass shooting when he intercepted a deranged gunman wearing a devil mask early Sunday morning trying to break into a crowded Tampa strip club.
Manny Resto – a former professional wrestler turned janitor – intercepted Michael Rudman, 44, as he tried to make his way up Mount Venus with a 9mm pistol at around 1:15 a.m., Fox 13 Tampa Bay reported.
“I saw him raise his hand and he had a gun,” Resto, 55, said during a press conference later. “I saw him point it at the door and decided he wasn’t going to go into the club and not hurt anyone.”
Resto, who was once known by the alias “Puerto Rican Punisher”, rushed for a gun and provoked an actual fight with the masked Rudman, which was caught on the club’s security cameras.
Resto fought back the gun as they fought, then picked it up and held Rudman at gunpoint while another bouncer, Danny Baham, helped subdue him, as shown in the video.
“We are all grateful for their heroism,” Acting Tampa Police Chief Lee Bercow said at a press conference to which he was accompanied by Resto and Baham. “I have no doubt that if they had not intervened, many lives would have been lost.”
According to Bercow, the pistol fired once during the minute-long struggle. But the shell only hit the door of the club.
During the confrontation, there were about 200 people inside the club. But no one was hurt, he said.
Police found two more loaded magazines in Rudman’s pocket, Bercow said. Nine knives, two holsters and ammunition were found in his truck.
According to the boss, Rudman has been tried in the past for domestic violence, battery, reckless driving and drunk driving. He also had an active risk protection order due to his mental condition.
Police said he was jailed in Hillsborough County without bail. He faces charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, battery and aggravated use of a deadly weapon, among other things, the Tampa Bay Times reports.
As a result of the fight, the guards received minor injuries.
Chef said he was immediately reminded of the 2016 mass shooting at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, which left 49 people dead and 53 injured.
Could they have prevented something like this? I definitely think so,” Bercow said. “And we are grateful that they stood up. These are two great heroes that need to be recognized.”
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