Police: Customer puts choke hold on hatchet-wielding robber

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. - A customer put a choke hold on a man with a hatchet who tried to rob a deli Sunday night, police said.

Officers arrived on scene at Ashley's Deli, 4027 Main Street, to find Sidney Sean Queener, 22, "in the grasp of the customer," Springfield Police said.

According to police, Queener entered the deli shortly before 9 p.m. with a hatchet and demanded money from an employee.

The customer, Daniel Gehrig of Springfield, said that he heard the events taking place from a nearby slot machine.

"The guy that was robbing the place had no Idea I was behind him," Gehrig said. "I looked back at the employee, he gave me that look of 'Oh my god, what can I do?' ... and that's when it kicked in."

Gehrig said that after he evaluated the situation before he tackled Queener.

"We struggled for a little bit, and I grabbed ahold of the hatchet. He started to struggle some more so I started choking him out until he gave up," said Gehrig. "I didn't even think, I acted. It wasn't about my safety, it was about helping (the cashier)."

Queener faces charges of first degree robbery and menacing.

The incident capped a busy weekend for police, who responded to three shootings and a destructive drunk driving crash in addition to the hatchet robbery.