Some people are just in the right place at the right time—and that’s never been more true than it was outside a Brooklyn deli last week.
An attempted robbery of a father and son’s shop took a series of dramatic turns, all caught on security camera. But it was when a stranger called for help that the ordeal received a miraculous, unlikely twist.
On the night of Friday, January 5, deli owner Ahmed Kassim was bringing in uncollected trash from outside while his son, Ashraf, worked the counter. It was a cold quiet night; nothing out of the ordinary.
But then, as Ahmed was returning to the store, a masked man in an orange jacket came up and attacked him from behind.
The masked, armed robber punched and choked the 59-year-old to the ground—until Ashraf attacked and managed to take his gun.
With the robber successfully disarmed, Ashraf assumed they were mostly out of danger.
“When I grabbed the first gun I thought it was over, like we’re safe, just a fight, nothing’s gonna happen to me cause I got the gun, nothing’s gonna happen to my father,” he told CBS New York.
But the robber had a second gun—and shot Ahmed in the stomach.
Ashraf continued fighting the robber, managing to pin him to the ground and urging him to surrender.
That’s when a customer came in and discovered the scene.
The stranger fled to get help, and flagged down the first car that happened to pass by.
And then, a stunning coincidence:
That car happened to be filled with undercover police officers.
The cops, unwittingly called into action, entered the store and found Ashraf struggling to hold the robber down.
When he saw the police, he tossed the two guns and explained the situation.
The officers apprehended the robber and took off his mask.
The father and son were stunned to realize that they recognized the robber:
It was Jermaine Alleyne, their longtime neighbor.
“I was so surprised because he used to live upstairs for nine years. We known him for nine years and never had no problem with him,” Ashraf told CBS.
It was a heartbreaking realization:
“I asked him why would you do that, everyone treats you like family here, and he’s like, ‘I don’t have no other choice, I need some money.’”
It’s a remarkable, dramatic story—one that could’ve gone very differently if there hadn’t happened to be a car full of police officers driving by at the exact right moment.
“They were at the right place at the right time to arrest a very dangerous person,” Charles McEvoy of NYPD Brooklyn North told NBC.
Ahmed is recovering from the gunshot wound, which thankfully just missed his vital organs.
“If those police weren’t here? Somebody get killed. One hundred percent,” Ahmed’s other son Fawzi explained to NBC after seeing the footage.
“It was gonna be worse.”
“I really appreciate it. I really appreciate. They work hard,” Fawzi said of the officers.