POMONA (CBSLA)  — A Pomona store owner had a life-and-death struggle with a knife-wielding robber on Saturday,

Concepscion Escalante told CBS2/KCAL9’s Laurie Perez that she understands fighting back might not have been the best idea.

The man walked in around 3 p.m.

The security video is one minute, six seconds long. It captures the terrifying struggle between Escalante (whose family runs the business — an insurance and registration office)  and the suspect — who remains at large.

One thing becomes immediately clear — if she was choosing between fight or flight, Escalante chose to fight.

She resisted from the moment he pulled the knife.

(credit: CBS)

Escalante told Perez she hit the suspect where it hurts most.

“Not hard enough,” she says.

Escalante says the man came into the business earlier in the day asking for a quote.

“Yeah, he was completely fine, good health, good teeth, he wasn’t in like raggedy clothes,” she recalls.

When the man came back about 15 minutes she said his eyes were on the cash on her desk.

She sized him up pretty quickly and seeing he was thin and about 55-60 years of age, she figured she could take him in a fight.

Escalante lunged for his knife, kicking and grabbing at him. At one point they separate and she goes after him.

“I don’t know, it’s just it wasn’t his to take and it just wasn’t his and I wasn’t thinking I guess correctly you could day. That day it was just more it’s not yours it’s mine and you’re not gonna take it.”

She says the suspect got away with about $1,000 but she got away with her life.

Just about everyone who has seen the video told Escalante fighting with the man with a knife wasn’t worth it.

“Don’t fight back,” she says, “You never really know, I think I got really lucky that he didn’t feel like stabbing [me] that day.”

Escalante says she is badly bruised.

Officials said the suspect left behind a hat and some glasses and our using those items in an effort to catch him.

Detectives told Escalante they believe the suspect is the same man who also robbed a liquor store and another business Saturday before coming to Escalante’s business.


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