Robbery target thanks community for support

Staff Reports
Posted 9/17/19

Jose Rivera, the owner of Fruteria El Mercadito at 814 S. May St. doesn’t like to relive -- or amplify -- the attempted robbery of his store Sept. 10.

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Robbery target thanks community for support

Posted

Jose Rivera, the owner of Fruteria El Mercadito at 814 S. May St. doesn’t like to relive -- or amplify -- the attempted robbery of his store Sept. 10.

“People have broken into the store before, but never like this with that intent,” said Rivera. “A lot of things came to my mind, but the first thing was my family and trying to stay safe.”

An armed man entered the market around 9:30 a.m. on Sept. 10 with a T-shirt wrapped around his face and the intention of stealing money from the register. Unbeknownst to Rivera, the gun was not loaded.

He could have discovered that fact, though, after wresting the pistol from the would-be robber’s hand and banging it on the side of the assailant’s head.

But Rivera doesn’t want to discuss the incident in depth. No, he would rather talk about the support of the community, members of which assisted immediately after the incident and who have reached out in the aftermath.

“Just let people know that I really appreciate their support and everything else,” said Rivera. “The police department, the sheriff’s department, everybody. I had a lot of customers who came to my store after just to see if I was okay, give me a hug and show me their support. I love this town and I love this community.”

Rivera, a resident of the Bryan and College Station area, has owned the market for 10 years. The would-be robbery was the first of its kind during that span.

According to Madisonville Police officials on scene after the incident, Rivera caught him off guard while he was reaching over the counter toward the register and took the gun from him before hitting him with it. The man then ran out of the store in the direction of Mimosa Street, leaving his unloaded gun and T-shirt behind.

On the evening of Sept. 10, Madisonville Police brought 19-year-old Da’Tavion McCarty into custody for aggravated robbery of the market.

Rivera did not go into details about the incident itself but decided to reiterate his appreciation to the all of those who reached out and assisted with the situation. He was also thankful that he was the only one who had to experience it.

“A lot of things came into my mind later and I just thanked God that it was just me who was there instead of my wife, kids, customers or anyone,” said Rivera. “A lot of things came to mind, but that was one of them. It was just me and I was lucky to take the gun away from this guy, and that is it. I am very thankful to God and everybody else.”

Rivera’s actions have been praised by those in the community as heroic, but he disagrees with these claims.

“I was just doing what anybody can do,” he said.

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