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For the New York Sanitation Department, a messy situation usually doesn’t involve thwarting a robbery.

A sanitation worker halted a robbery at a Manhattan 7-Eleven early Tuesday morning, police said.

Curtis Jackson, 44, momentarily stopped at the 7-Eleven at 23rdStreet and Park Avenue South around 6 a.m. to use the bathroom, according to authorities. He saw a man holding an object in his jacket that appeared to be a gun.

Jackson then snuck up on the man and tackled him, reported the New York Times. The man didn’t have a gun but a marker, Jackson said.


The suspect, identified by police as Nicholas Mecina, 47, faced a weapon and robbery charges.

Mecina is homeless and encountered the police many times before, authorities said. The suspect had 30 prior arrests including another weapons possession and robbery charge.

His arrest record dates back to 1995. Mecina allegedly pretended to have a weapon to demand cash from the 7-Eleven cashier, according to the NYPD.

A former Marine, Jackson wasn’t frightened of the situation.

“You’re going to get all the help you need in prison,” said Jackson to Mecina in a phone video recorded by his co-worker who was present at the time, Kieron Phillips.

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