Marie Paradis — manager of a gas station convenience store connected to Stone’s Auto Repair in St. Albans, Vermont — had been on edge after a number of robberies in the area in a short period of time.
Paradis shared with WPTZ-TV that her instincts told her to prepare for trouble Wednesday morning.
“I went and heated some coffee, and I double-heated it to almost boiling,” she recounted to the station. “Because I just had this feeling that if they tried something, I’m going to throw the coffee.”
Paradis told WPTZ she had already pressed the panic button when the man walked to the front counter — and he was carrying a gun, as surveillance video shows:
‘Open up the till’
“He said, ‘Open up the till,’ and I said no,” she recalled to the station.
Paradis recounted the crook’s persistence to WPTZ — though she redacted his profanity: “I said open up the effin’ till and give me all the money.”
She replied to the armed robber that the till’s contents were staying put, the station said: “You’re not getting any money from me.”
With that, the crook threatened to open fire.
‘Then shoot me’
“I am going to shoot you if you do not give me that money,” the man threatened, according to her recollection to WPTZ.
Paraidis added to the station that she replied, “Then shoot me, because you’re not getting the money.”
Video shows Paradis chucking her coffee toward the armed man’s head:
Then she pepper-sprayed him, forcing him to cover up and retreat:
He ended up taking off with some cigarettes and e-cigarettes — and no cash, the station said.
“I was thinking, ‘I’m here to serve the people, and I’m here to protect this store,” Paradis told WPTZ. “And that’s what I’m gonna do, and I would do it again.”
The store owners told WPTZ they’re grateful Paradis is OK — but they’re frustrated that their employees must concern themselves with safety at work.
“Our employees have to come to work every day and worry about whether they’re gonna be broken into or not,” Kim Stone told the station. “That shouldn’t be their first concern.”
WPTZ said despite some businesses having been hit twice by the rash of recent, very public robberies, police have yet to nab the culprits.
WPTZ said it contacted the St. Albans Police Department for comment but was told no one was available to speak with the news station.
* Original Article: