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MIDLOTHIAN (CBS11) – A robber entering a Midlothian convenience store didn’t know the man he pushed aside was an off-duty firefighter with two secrets up his sleeve that could thwart a robbery.

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“It’s 6:15 in the morning and you’re still trying to wake up to, you know,” said Daniel Gaskey, a Mansfield firefighter who was on his way to work that June morning. “And then all of a sudden this guys pushing me. I realized real quick what was going on. There’s only one reason people wear a black mask at a gas station.”

Gaskey can be seen in security video assessing the situation from behind the masked robber. The firefighter was about to become a crime fighter.

“He’s got a fixed blade knife,” Gaskey recalled thinking. He doesn’t have a gun. Or if he does he doesn’t have it in his hand he’s got a knife right now. I was like, he’s focused on the lady. I can control this.

“I just launched on his back, put my arm around his head, around his neck and just rotated and just trust him on the ground,” Gaskey recounted. “I landed on top of him and standing. And once I got them on the ground and I was on top of it I was able to get the knife away and threw it out of his reach and focused more on controlling him.”

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The robber didn’t know Gaskey wrestled in high school and served eight years as a U.S. Marine.

The relieved clerk called 911 while Gaskey pinned the robber to the ground.

“She was very grateful,” Gaskey said I mean, obviously she was very happy I was there.”

Gaskey says he wouldn’t have taken as much as a free cup of coffee for his effort.

You don’t do this for fame or fortune or anything like that,” he said. “It’s just the right thing to do and that’s the reward in itself is the fact that you were able to help someone out.”

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