US vet who stopped armed robbery in Germany helps convict perpetrator

By STARS AND STRIPES Published: February 1, 2018

KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — A would-be casino robber foiled by a former U.S. soldier was sentenced to three years and three months in prison for attempted armed robbery on Tuesday.

The 48-year-old perpetrator walked into a gambling hall wearing a ski mask and holding a handgun in Heidingsfeld, located near a former U.S. base in Wuerzburg, the Main Post newspaper reported.

The U.S. veteran, who worked at the casino, told the court that the armed robber ordered him to go to the cash till.

“I was afraid that it was a real gun. It looked like a .22 revolver,” the former soldier said.

Neither the veteran nor the robber were identified, in keeping with German privacy laws.

The former soldier told the court that the situation reminded him of his experiences serving in Iraq.

When the robber turned away for a moment, the ex-servicemember slammed him to the ground, striking him so hard that he broke one of the robber’s cheekbones, the Main Post said.

On the night of the robbery, the veteran was filling in for his wife, who was also employed at the casino, the newspaper said. He testified that his wife had quit her job because she feared another robbery.