NEWTON - On crime and procedural television shows, a common trope that is often shown is the one of a law enforcement officer ending up in a store while he is not on the clock. Inevitably, this store becomes subject to a robbery. For a second, the hero cop protagonist will mull over whether or not he wants to step into action and save the day. Part of him is selfish and just wants to enjoy his day off. But without fail, the cop will intervene and apprehend the burgalar, proving that he has the moral compass and the social merit to be a police officer.
In real life, this doesn't always happen. For the most part, when convenience stores are robbed, there are no off-duty cops nearby to come to the rescue. But just last week, Dave Tempesta, a lieutenant in the Newton Police Department, showed that sometimes, this trope does come to fruition in reality. And he did not hesitate to prove his mettle.
The incident occurred on December 3 in the afternoon when Newton's Corner Mini Mart was invaded by a man named Thomas Zekos, aged thirty, who approached the cashier with a knife and demanded money. Lt. Tempesta just happened to be in the back corner of the mini mart and, fortunately, he was in uniform, so he was able to draw his gun on the man and order him to stop and put down the knife.
The story has reached further popularity now thanks to a video obtained by CBS Local that shows the incident unfolding on surveillance camera footage.
After the initial attempt of apprehension, Zekos, who hails from Shrewsbury attempted to flee the scene but he was promptly tackled by Tempesta. He was later arrested after multiple police units arrived at the mart. Zekos has since been charged with armed robbery and assault, as well as battery on a police officer. He has pled not guilty, but the video evidence seems pretty damning.
Charlie Patel, who owns the convenience store was quite grateful for Tempesta's presence, as shared by Boston.com.
“I love my cop,” Patel said of his “friend,” Tempesta. “He’s my heart. The cop is my heart.”
For the lieutenant however, it's all part of the job.
Image Wikimedia Commons