Quick response by Slidell officers thwarts gas station robbery

Updated: Dec. 29, 2015 at 10:18 PM CST
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SLIDELL, LA (WVUE) - A knife-wielding robber is in custody after a failed attempt Monday to rob a Slidell gas station, according to Slidell Police.

(The incident was captured on video and can be seen here.)

At about 6:45 p.m., police received a 911 call from the Redfish gas station in the 3600 block of Pontchartrain Drive in reference to an armed robbery in progress. Police said the suspect, 32-year-old Elias Mendez, entered and forced his way behind the counter, then pulled out a knife and reached into the cash register. The gas station owner began fighting Mendez while the clerk called 911.

A police spokesman said when officers arrived, Mendez refused to drop the knife and fought until the officers were able to put him in handcuffs. No one was injured during the incident.

"The response time of my officers was incredible," said Slidell Police Chief Randy Smith. "Their quick response resulted in the arrest of a violent individual and potentially prevented injury to others."

Mendez faces charges of armed robbery and resisting an officer by violence. He was booked into the Slidell City Jail and then taken to the St. Tammany Parish Jail, where a bond will be set. If convicted of armed robbery, Mendez could face more than 99 years in prison.

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