HOUSTON - The employee who locked an armed robber inside a cell phone store, helping police to capture him is now speaking out.
Today, Karina Leon serves up all things Cajun at at 7Spice Cajun and Seafood on Fuqua Street.
The restaurant is more than 20 miles from the cell phone store on Hillcroft Avenue near Bellaire Boulevard where Leon worked back in April.
It was then that John Bell came in and tried to rob the store called Latino Cellular, according to police.
"It was in broad daylight," Leon said on Wednesday. "I was cashing out a customer and she had a baby. I think I was handing her her cash, then this guy walks in with a hoodie on."
Leon was behind the counter at Latino Cellular when Bell came in and the owner's wife told her not to give cash from the register.
So she ushered the customer out and locked the door behind them, thus locking Bell in the store.
That quick-thinking set off a chain of events that surveillance video picked up. In the newly released video, Bell can be seen panicking, pacing and on his knees pleading for forgiveness.
"The opportunity was there, I had the key," Leon said. "He was over there. He wasn't going to come out like that quickly. Everything happened so fast. I kind of did feel badly. I don't know if he has a family. I don't know if he has kids but I have a family too. I could've been shot."
Leon said Bell had been in the store with a group of guys a few weeks before and had held her up at gunpoint while she was working by herself that night.
He has pleaded guilty to Aggravated Assault with a deadly weapon back in December. He has an extensive criminal history and is expected to serve five years for that felony charge.
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