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Gracie News

Two Jiu-Jitsu Students Neutralize Armed Robber

November 15, 2011

Story from KABC - Los Angeles

The incident happened at a Comfort Inn in the 300 block of North Vermont Avenue on Wednesday.

According to Los Angeles police, a man with a backpack walked into the hotel lobby at about 11:40 p.m. He approached the lone clerk, asked about the price of a room, and then pointed a gun at him and demanded money.

Fearing he may be shot, the clerk complied with the suspect's demands, opened the register and gave him money.

At that point, two martial arts experts, who were guests at the hotel, entered the lobby. They were visiting Los Angeles from Oregon for a jiu-jitsu tournament.

They heard the clerk's cry for help and immediately jumped into action.

"I hear 'Gun. He's got a gun, he just robbed me,'" said Brent Alvarez, an MMA fighter. "At that point I'd already stepped one foot off the elevator and the guy and the gun was on me. He's putting it in the back and thought he was going to be sneaky and escape."

"Bret was in front and he's trying to be the diplomatic guy, trying to calm the guy down, tell him, 'Hey, man. It was a bad decision. Let's make it right from here,'" said MMA fighter Billy Denney. "From there we disarmed him, we got the money."

The two grabbed the suspect, wrestled the gun away from him, took him down to the ground and held him until officers arrived.

The suspect was identified as 31-year-old Luis Rosales of Los Angeles. Officers found a loaded 9 mm handgun and cash taken from the hotel register in Rosales' backpack. He was booked for armed robbery with a firearm with bail set at $101,250.

To watch actual hotel lobby footage of the robbery attempt, click on image.