On July 11, 2014 at 6:22 a.m. the Fort Myers Police Department received a call of a robbery in progress at the RaceTrac convenience store located at 2335 Cleveland Avenue.
FMPD’s Officer Nick Ursitti was off-duty while at the RaceTrac getting gas when he observed a black male later identified as Samuel Lawrence Shaw (d.o.b. 12/03/1974 of Fort Myers) pacing back and forth in front of the business. Shaw eventually entered the establishment but his suspicious behavior prompted Officer Ursitti to investigate further.
Officer Ursitti works the nightshift and is familiar with the recent robberies at the convenience store.
Instead of going into the store to pay for his gas Officer Ursitti went back to his personal vehicle to retrieve his police equipment. It was during this time Shaw ran out of the business being chased by a patron. A store clerk ran out of the business and yelled out that the store was just robbed. At this time the patron tackled Shaw in the parking lot as Officer Ursitti approached.
Officer Ursitti and the Good Samaritan had to physically subdue Shaw who began to actively resist their efforts. Shaw was taken into custody without further incident. When Shaw was tackled he dropped the $70 cash he took from the register and a large silver pocket knife.
The follow up investigation revealed Shaw entered the business with a shirt wrapped around his hand and implied he had a gun. Several other customers patronizing the business during the robbery came forward to identify Shaw as the robber. Shaw is being charged with one count of armed robbery.
FMPD’s detective bureau is looking into whether Shaw was responsible for the recent robberies that are similar in nature.
“Although we advocate against citizens physically intervening during crimes we are very thankful a robber is going to jail and no one was hurt,” said police spokesperson Lieutenant Victor Medico.
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