WACO (September 28, 2012)—Surveillance video obtained by News 10 shows the commando-style attempt by three heavily armed men to rob a local grocery store early Friday morning in Waco.
The incident could have ended in bloodshed had it not been for a 911 call from an alert passerby who witnessed the robbery and the crash of the car in which the three men were attempting to elude pursuing officers.
Police responded to the 911 report of the robbery at 12:35 a.m. Friday at the Super Plaza Grocery Store at 1320 North 25th St. and arrived just as two men ran from the store and jumped into a waiting Toyota sedan, which sped away with officers in pursuit.
The chase ended abruptly at the intersection of Bosque Boulevard and Brookview Circle when the car hit a tree, leaving the occupants stunned.
Two of the men tried to run, but were caught after a brief foot chase.
The driver was pulled from the car and taken into custody.
The men didn’t have a chance to use the AK-47 assault rifle, Uzi 9-mm automatic pistol and handgun with which they were armed.
The sequence of events leading up to what police say was a well-planned attempt to rob the store began when the three men followed the store’s assistant manager after he closed the store for the night.
Near North 18th Street and Bosque they rammed his car, and then pulled in front of the vehicle to make it impossible for him to escape.
Two of the men ran to the manager’s car, forced their way in at gunpoint, and ordered him to drive back to the store while the third man followed in the Toyota.
The two men, who were wearing military-style clothing and ski masks, forced the manager at gunpoint to enter the store and to deactivate the alarm system while the third man waited outside in the car.
The two men assaulted the victim and attempted to break into the store’s safe, for which the manager did not have the combination.
The prompt arrival of police forced the would-be robbers to flee before they could get the safe open and they escaped empty-handed, police said.
The assistant store manager suffered minor injuries and was taken to Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center for treatment, as were two of the three suspects.
Friday evening, the three men, who police say are evidently Mexican Nationals from the Dallas area, were held in the McLennan County Jail.
Marco Polo Medina-Gonzalez, 29, Josias Chavez, 20, and Julio Cesar Medina, 24, were all charged with aggravated kidnapping and aggravated robbery and Medina-Gonzalez was also charged with evading arrest in a vehicle and possession of a controlled substance.
Bonds for Julio Medina totaled $200,000, but online jail records show the other two men are held without bond.
(Paul J. Gately and Paul Shelton also contributed to this story)