When Mostafa Kamel Hendi walked into We Buy Gold in Hendersonville, N.C., about 15 minutes before closing time on December 23, 2011, he had no idea what he was in for.
Derek Mothershead, a clerk working at We Buy Gold, later told WYFF News 4, "When he came through the door, he told me he had a gun and even flashed it. I stood up and threw my hands up and said, 'Take the money.'"
When Hendi walked behind the counter with a bag, demanding money, Mothershead played it cool. Instead of placing the money into Hendi's bag, he held it out, as if to hand it to Hendi and said, "Just take it." When the unsuspecting Hendi reached for the cash, Mothershead sprang into action.
"I took a step in, I cocked back and preloaded and I hit him hard."
That Mothershead hit Hendi "hard" was a bit of an understatement. Surveillance video footage from the incident shows Mothershead connecting with a fully committed straight left to Hendi's face. The force of the devastating punch knocked Hendi out cold.
When Mothershead reached into Hendi's waistband to retrieve Hendi's weapon, he realized it was a pellet gun.
"When I pulled it out of his waistband, I said, 'Man, you came in here with a fake gun?'"
Mothershead dragged Hendi across the floor and held him down, while calling 911. When Hendi regained consciousness, Mothershead handed him a towel and made him clean his own blood off the floor. Hendi was subsequently arrested for attempted armed robbery and his bail was set at $100,000.
"There was just an opportunity there where I thought that I could actually do something and justice could be served, and I thought that's what needed to be done," said Mothershead.
While Mothershead's decision to fight the would-be robber was not without risk, his deceptively cooperative demeanor, which included compliant verbal commands and physical gestures helped "set up" his perfectly executed punch.
Mothershead waited until Hendi was reaching for the cash and therefore, distracted. He also made his move when Hendi's gun was in his waistband, as opposed to in-hand. Finally, when Mothershead acted, he did so with 100 percent commitment, as is readily apparent from the video clip of the incident.
Whether or not Mothershead did the "right thing" is open for debate. Perhaps cooperating with Hendi would have been the more sensible course of action. After all, your boss' cash isn't worth dying for. But the manner in which Mothershead responded once he decided to act was undeniably appropriate. What are your thoughts?