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73-year-old Texan rescues young woman and thrashes armed bandit

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On September 7 around 12:30 p.m., a woman was accosted by an armed robber as she made her way to her vehicle outside a Houston check-cashing business. According to police, the suspect had followed and pointed his gun at the victim, demanding that she hand over her keys. He proceeded to choke her.

That’s when 73-year-old Simon Mancilla Sr., a grandfather of 11, rolled up in his truck and said, “Hey man … don’t make a problem.”

The suspect turned his attention to Mancilla. The bandit yanked the grandfather out of his truck and climbed inside. While the suspect prepared his getaway, Mancilla threw wide the door and began pulling him out of the vehicle.

The suspect repeatedly struck Mancilla in the head with his pistol. Despite his injuries and suffering a wound that would ultimately require several stitches to close, the grandfather leaned into the struggle, delivering a flurry of punches.

Two other bystanders reportedly jumped into the fray, but Mancilla had figured himself alone in the ordeal. His son told KHOU 11 that by that time, his father’s “eyes were full of blood, he couldn’t see anyone.”

Notwithstanding the bystanders’ last minute intervention and a few more blind punches from Mancilla, the suspect peeled away in the truck, nearly running those nearby over.

Although he would lose the fight and his truck with it, Mancilla won the battle. The woman was safe.

“I don’t have any choice,” said Mancilla, concerning his sense of obligation to intervene.

The stolen vehicle, still reported missing, is a 2011 GMC Sierra 1500. The license is RKJ 3241.

The chances that Mancilla will get his truck back are not nearly as good as his chances were of being robbed and attacked in Democratic Mayor Sylvester Turner’s Houston.

Only 14% of carjackings since 2019 reportedly have resulted in an arrest.

Last year, there were 1,216 carjackings, up 10% from 2020 and up 20% from 2019.

The likelihood of becoming a victim of either a property crime or a violent crime is 1 in 23 and 1 in 78 respectively.

Sr. Officer Jeff Brieden with the HPD’s Robbery Division told KHOU 11 that the upwards trend of violent crimes in the city is “a disturbing trend and it bothers all of us.”


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