Crime & Courts

Clerk pulls gun on Cleveland County robbery suspect

A convenience store clerk with a gun teamed with a customer to catch a robbery suspect Monday morning near Shelby, the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office said.

Investigators said the incident took place shortly after 10 a.m. at Padgett’s BP, in the 3100 block of Polkville Road, about 5 miles north of Shelby.

Deputies said a masked man carrying a can of pepper spray entered the store and walked to the counter. Investigators said the store’s owner thought he was being robbed and pulled a gun from his holster, pointing it at the suspect.

The suspect then ran from the store, investigators said, with the store owner in pursuit. Detectives said a customer who was pulling into the store saw what was happened and gave pursuit in his car, chasing the suspect down Double Shoals Road.

The customer was able to tackle the suspect and hold him until deputies arrived.

The suspect, identified as 26-year-old Nicholas Richard Hartman of Ellenboro, was taken into custody and charged with common law robbery.