West Covina officer details moment he realized he had walked in on armed robbery

ByABC7.com staff KABC logo
Monday, January 22, 2024
SoCal officer describes moment he walked in on armed robbery
Sgt. Abel Hernandez realized something was wrong when the store clerk didn't greet him with his normal friendly smile.

WEST COVINA, Calif. (KABC) -- A West Covina police sergeant is recalling the tense moments when he walked in on an armed robbery in progress before he managed to chase down and arrest the suspect.

Last Wednesday around 8:30 p.m., Sgt. Abel Hernandez was stopping by a 7-Eleven to pick up some water.

What he didn't know was that just moments before, a suspect wearing a mask and hood had entered the store and displayed a gun in his waistband to the clerk, demanding he fill a bag up with cash.

Hernandez walked in behind the suspect and it only took seconds for him to realize something was wrong.

He stops in the store on a regular basis and usually the clerk is quite friendly.

"What really alerted me is once I went in there, Mr. Singh (the clerk) is normally a jolly person," Hernandez recalled. "He's always with a smile but as I entered the store I saw the fear in his face and I knew something was up."

The suspect grabbed the bag of cash and ran out the door just as the clerk alerted the sergeant that he was being robbed.

Hernandez immediately ran after him. He was able to track him down and take him into custody right outside the store.

"Thank God that the outcome was what it was, for myself, the subject and Mr. Singh."

West Covina police identified the suspect as Ramon Gonzalez, 48, of La Puente. He was arrested and booked for robbery, felon in possession of a firearm and carrying a concealed weapon. The cash, approximately $400, was returned to the store.