BRADENTON, Fla., Feb. 19 (UPI) -- A man accused of trying to rob a Walgreens pharmacy was foiled by some well-planted punches from the pharmacist's boyfriend, a champion boxer.
David West, 25, was visiting his girlfriend, a pharmacist at the Walgreens in Bradenton, at work just after noon on Valentine's Day when a man identified by the Bradenton Police Department as Anthony Nemeth, 26, climbed onto the pharmacy counter and demanded Oxycodone pills.
West said he initially thought Nemeth was joking, but the suspect claimed to have a gun.
"When he started reaching into his pants like he had a weapon that's when I did something just to protect my girlfriend," West told WFLA-TV.
Surveillance camera footage of the incident shows West leap into action and land several punches on the surprised suspect.
West held Nemeth down until police arrived. He said he sympathizes with the suspect's apparent drug addiction despite his attempted robbery.
"I wasn't trying to be malicious in any way. It's just how I reacted to the situation," West said. "The whole time I was holding him down it really, really hurt my heart."
Nemeth was booked into he Manatee County Jail on a charge of armed robbery after being treated for his injuries at Blake Hospital.
West, a professional boxer and a two-time winner of the Florida State PAL Boxing Championships, said there isn't anything he wouldn't do to protect his girlfriend.
"I did what I had to do to protect the person I love. I hope he gets the help he needs and I hope it helps his loved ones too," he said.