The steel-nerved worker wasn’t rattled, though.
The gun had no magazine.
Gambling that there wasn't a bullet chambered, he snatched the weapon from her hands, then shouted to a colleague outside to call police.
A male accomplice then rushed in and punched him in the head, freeing his partner.
Elmwood Park police nabbed the Paterson couple moments later, Police Chief Michael Foligno said.
Krystina Tracey-Vaughan, 30, and Nader Yasin, 35, both have violent criminal histories that stretch back more than a decade, records show.
Tracey-Vaughan entered the Tiger Mart on the eastbound highway asking to use the bathroom shortly after 2:30 a.m. May 18, Foligno said. She emerged moments later brandishing a handgun, he said.
Pointing it at the worker, Tracey-Vaughan demanded money from the cash register, Foligno said.
The would-be victim might’ve laughed when he saw the gun was missing a magazine.
He grabbed the weapon and then struggled with Tracey-Vaughan while shouting to a co-worker at the pumps outside to call police, the chief said.
Suddenly, Yasin ran into the store and punched the employee in the head, Foligno said. The couple then bolted on foot down Roosevelt Avenue.
Moments later, the worker handed the defaced handgun over to responding officers. He declined medical treatment, Foligno said.
Police quickly established a perimeter with help from a Bergen County Sheriff’s K-9 unit and nabbed Yasin and racey-Vaughan in the parking lot of the Royal Warsaw restaurant on River Drive a few blocks away, the chief said.
They also found – and seized – Yasin’s car, which was towed to the sheriff’s Bureau of Criminal Identification for processing.
Foligno thanked Bergen County Sheriff Anthony Cureton's staff for their "quick response and professionalism in helping apprehend these dangerous individuals."
Tracey-Vaughan and Nasin were both charged with first-degree robbery. She’s also charged with a trio of weapons offenses, including possession of a defaced firearm.
Both are expected to remain held in the Bergen County Jail while the prosecutions against them proceed.
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