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Employee at the Jones Beach Hotel in Wantagh foils armed robbery, cops say

An employee of a Wantagh hotel foiled an armed robbery Thursday when he wrestled the weapon away from the suspect, Nassau police said.

Justin Gagnon, 35, of East Hartford, Connecticut, was arrested about 12:20 p.m. Thursday and faces robbery and weapons charges, police said.

Gagnon approached the front desk of the Jones Beach Hotel and demanded at gunpoint the employee give him money from a cash register, police said.

The employee, 23, complied, but a struggle ensued between Gagnon and the hotel's 62-year-old manager, police said. As the woman struggled with Gagnon, the employee was able to grab the gun away from the suspect, police said. A struggle between Gagnon and the employee continued outside, police said. That’s when a second man, 54, jumped into the altercation and he and the employee held Gagnon until Nassau officers arrived, police said.

Both the employee and the hotel manager sustained minor injuries, officials said. Gagnon was evaluated and treated at a hospital, police said.

He is charged with first-degree robbery, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and first-degree criminal use of a firearm, police said.

He will be arraigned Friday in First District Court in Hempstead.

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