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Suspect Chooses Very Wrong Time To Rob Hotel — During Martial Arts Tournament

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A suspect chose the very wrong time to rob a hotel Wednesday — during a martial arts tournament.

The incident was caught on surveillance video, which was posted on YouTube by the LAPD.

The attempted robbery happened at about 11:40 p.m. at a hotel in the 300 block of Vermont Avenue, Officer Rosario Herrera of the Los Angeles Police Department said.

The LAPD declined to reveal the name of the hotel.

“Officers responded to a radio call of an assault suspect armed with a gun,” Herrera said in a statement. “When the officers arrived they saw a man on the ground being held by two citizens.”

Melissa McCarty, reporting for KCAL9 and CBS2, interviewed the two “citizens.”

Brent Alvarez and Billy Denney, who both hail from Oregon, are also trained martial artists. They’ve also competed at the MMA level.

Denney said, “I ran around the guy and held him. And locked him up from behind. And then I positioned his hands down.”

Both men wrestled with the alleged gunman for several minutes. Alvarez said, “I kept saying to him, let me see your hands, let me see your hands. The clerk reached into his bag and pulled the gun out.”

The suspect kept telling the men he didn’t want to rob the place but he needed the money for his daughter.

The suspect was later identified as 31-year-old Luis Rosales of Los Angeles.

Rosales allegedly asked the clerk about the price of a room then pointed a gun at him and demanded money.

“The suspect walked around the counter where the clerk stood and told him to open the cash register,” Herrera said. “The clerk, fearing he was going to be shot, opened the register and gave the suspect money.”

Rosales was later taken into custody without further incident, Herrera said. Police found a loaded 9mm handgun and the money taken from the cash register inside his backpack. He was booked for armed robbery with a firearm and is being held in lieu of more than $100,000 bail.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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