A would-be thief brandishing a gun likely wasn’t counting on an 84-year-old veteran and a fellow member of his Toronto legion putting up a fight when he tried to make off with their poppy money.

But police say that’s what happened Thursday when a man walked into a Royal Canadian Legion in the city’s east end as members were counting the money from this year’s poppy drive.

They refused to give up the cash and instead chased the suspect and tackled him.

However, they were unable to stop him from getting away.

John Dietsch, the 84-year-old Second World War veteran, says he thought of the veterans who served in the military — and the time they spent selling poppies — when he stood up to the man.

“I thought ‘You’re not getting away with this,”‘ Dietsch said.

“He didn’t get any money.”

Dietsch was joined by legion member Earl Gray, 64, who said he didn’t really think about what he was doing when he went after the man with the gun.

“I just went blank, I guess, and it unfolded and what happened, happened,” Gray said.

“I guess you don’t think when these things happen.”

Police say they have a description of the suspect.

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