Police in Suffolk County released surveillance footage of an attempted robbery at a convenience store off the Montauk Highway in Brookhaven that showed a petite woman defending her store. Store employee Hafize Sahin, all of 4'5" and 90 pounds, swung a 3-foot-long ax at the would-be robber.
The incident took place around 8PM when a mask-wearing man demanded the store's money. Sahin pretended to open the register but really took the ax from under the counter when the man went to look outside the door. Sahin said, "I thought the gun is not real. I wasn't going to open the drawer. I said to myself, 'I'm not going to give him money.' I couldn't give him the money because I thought it was the first time he was doing it." She added, "I was yelling at him and telling him 'Get out of here!' I didn't want to hit him, I just wanted him to get out."
Another employee said, "I've seen her roughhouse with a friend. I knew she was tough." But Suffolk Fifth Precinct Detective Let. Edward Reilly warned that self-defense isn't always the way you want to react in these situations: "The recommendation of the police department is, if someone is robbing you, you give them what they want."