Some people are just protectors of people.
Daniel Gaskey is a protector of people.
He served as a Mansfield firefighter and as a Marine.
But when he walked into Exxon Oasis Food Store in Midlothian, Texas in June of 2015, he didn’t think he’d step into the role of a local crime fighter.
However, he did just that when he took down a knife-wielding thief with his bare hands.
“It was about 6:15 in the morning. I was on my way to work, stopped in here like I normally do before my shift and just getting some water or coffee, you know, just stuff to start the day,” Gaskey told CW33.
That’s when Gaskey became startled by some kind of commotion and looked to see what was going on.
“I glance over and realize he’s got a black hood or mask over his face, so immediately it’s obvious what his intentions are,” he said.
From there his mind began to move quickly thanks to his career training. He immediately assessed whether or not the 19-year-old assailant had a weapon and what kind of weapon that was.
Thankfully, this wasn’t a clever would-be thief Gaskey was dealing with.
He was totally unaware of his surroundings and didn’t even realize Gaskey was there.
That’s when Gaskey sprung into action.
“Realized he wasn’t giving me a second thought or paying attention…so immediately reacted, jumped on his back, took control of the weapon. Took him off balance, rolled him to the ground,” Gaskey told Fox 4 News.
It took Gaskey less than seven seconds to take the assailant down.
“Once I got him on the ground, it was pretty quick. It wasn’t a long fight; it wasn’t incredibly rough. I controlled his arm on the way to the ground, I got on top of him, and once I was wrestled the knife away from him and moved it away from his reach, I was able to put pressure on his shoulder, control him, and stop him from struggling. Once he stopped struggling, it became rather civil,” Gaskey said.
Gaskey said he began to talk to the teen calmly, deescalating the situation with as little force as possible.
While many are calling him a hero, he doesn’t see himself this way.
“I like to think anyone else in that situation would assess and do the right thing, too. “Sometimes doing what’s right involves getting a license plate number of someone driving away.”
Dylan Bearden, 19, was arrested and charged with aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony.
Bearden’s sister, Nicole Mitschke, said her brother did what he did to help his family.
“I’d like to say my brother, Dylan, is a good kid who just graduated high school, he’s never done anything like this before and has never been in trouble,” she wote in a social media post.
“He’s not a thug, he tried to get a job but couldn’t find one, he did what he did cause he wanted to help family. I don’t expect anyone to understand; not everything is as it seems. There is always more than meets the eye.”
She hopes that he will be spared jail time.
“I’ve been praying for him,” said Gaskey.
To pray for someone who tried to do wrong and put your own safety at risk, that’s a hero to me. Learn more about this story in the video below.
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Source: FOX 4 News – Dallas-Fort Worth,