VANCOUVER, Wash. - A man walking past a 7-Eleven convenience store came to the rescue of a clerk who was being attacked in the middle of a robbery last week.
What he did led to the arrests of the thieves, but it also landed him in the hospital.
Dennis Waldon has been in a Vancouver hospital since Friday night, and is pretty banged up. He has a black eye, fractured ribs, a cracked vertebra, and had a brain bleed.
"They were like super worried I was going to die," Waldon said Monday night from his hospital bed.
Waldon said he was walking past the 7-Eleven near Main Street and W. Fourth Plain Blvd. last Friday evening when he saw a bunch of people in the corner of the parking lot.
"I noticed that there was a cashier from 7-Eleven, and all of a sudden I hear him say, 'give me my stuff back,'" Waldon said.
Waldon realized he was witnessing two young men stealing beer from the store, and the the clerk had followed them outside to try to stop them.
"He had turned around to go back to 7-Eleven and the other guy choke-holded him from behind and took him down to the sidewalk," Waldon said.
He rushed over to help.
"I ran right over to the guy and I put him in a choke-hold to get him off the cashier," Waldon said.
He said that man slammed him onto the pavement, but he was able to get up while the bad guys were getting away.
"I pointed at him and I said, 'I want to knock your teeth out so bad,' and that made him come back, and then we scrapped," Waldon said.
The men punched and kicked until Waldon until they knocked him out.
"The next thing I knew I was waking up in an ambulance," Waldon said.
"I had to say something. I had to do something that was going to keep them close so that they had time for the cops to show up," said Waldon.
Police eventually arrested Michael Mallory, 20, and Christopher Francisco, 22, for robbery and assault.
Mike Guili, who owns the store, said Dennis is a hero.
"He is a rock star to us and he always will be. He's re-instilled our faith in humanity," Guili said.
"I'm just glad I was there to keep somebody else from getting hurt," Waldon said.
With a lot of rest, Waldon will eventually make a full recovery. His friend Sally set up an account on GoFundMe.com to help with his medical expenses.