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Just in time, Good Samaritans foil robbery attempt at Medford Dunkin' shop

Leslie Treadwell talks about helping his brother who was attacked with a knife while working at a Dunkin’ in Medford on Monday. (Credit: James Carbone)

Two Good Samaritans foiled an attempted knifepoint robbery of a Medford Dunkin' store with the help of one's brother, an employee of the doughnut shop, police and witnesses said.

About 5:50 p.m. Monday, Frank Annunziata Jr., 61, of Medford, entered the Dunkin' store on Horseblock Road and threatened a clerk with a knife, Suffolk police said.

Another Dunkin' employee, identified by News 12 Long Island as Austin Minott, 25, fought with the suspect, police said. Minott told the TV station that he and two female employees were working when the man came into the shop holding a knife and concealing his face with a stocking cap.

The man first held a knife up to one of his co-workers and demanded cash from the register, Minott told News 12.

“He pushed the girl to the back, and was holding her with the knife toward her," Minott said. "And he came at me because he wanted the drawer. He was like, ‘Give me the drawer.’ … I said 'nah, you got to get out of my Dunkin'.'" Minott said that’s when he and the man got into a physical fight that spilled out into the parking lot.

The attacker was getting the better of him, Minott said.

“I was on the ground, the guy had the knife close to slicing my throat,” Minott told News 12.

At the same time, Minott's brother, Leslie Treadwell, 41, of Medford, was pulling into the Dunkin' parking lot and heard someone yelling "help! Help! Help!" Treadwell said he saw a man with a knife on top of someone he soon realized was Minott, his brother.

“My brother looked up, and I slammed the car in park and jumped out," Treadwell said. "I didn’t even have time to think.” 

Treadwell said he punched the knife-wielding man twice in the face. The attacker buckled, fell to the ground and dropped the knife, Treadwell said.

“I came in and hit him fast. It was quick, it was lightning," Treadwell said. "It was just instinct, and brought him to the ground.”

Shawn Williams told Newsday he was near Treadwell when he also witnessed the commotion.

“[Treadwell] came running and I was right behind him," Williams said. "He was able to get the knife out of the guy’s hand, by you know, doing what he had to do."

 Annunziata was charged with first-degree attempted robbery, second-degree assault and possession of stolen property for an unrelated crime, police said.

“If he didn’t come," Minott said of his brother, "I would have been gone.”

Treadwell got emotional talking about the confrontation because his little brother's "life flashed before my eyes."

“It’s just kindness. It’s just out of your heart. If you see something like that, don’t walk away," Treadwell said. "Try to intervene. It just happened. I wasn’t even thinking.”

Suffolk police Det. Lt. Sean Beran told News 12 that the department advises against citizens jumping into a violent physical struggle, but added: "They helped us do our jobs as Good Samaritans.”

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