Gates officials honor good Samaritan for bravery during armed robbery


GATES, N.Y. (WROC) — The town of Gates is honoring a local man for his role in trying to stop a robbery. They say a suspect, on life parole after 29 years in prison, tried taking beer, and pulled a knife when Tom Mabon tried to stop him.

Police tell us this all took place at 4:30 in the morning at a Speedway gas in Gates. Mabon goes to that speedway a few times a week before work.

Mabon says the man — whom police later identified as 56-year-old Jeffrey Tondryk — ran in his direction, he spun him around, then he says the Tondryk pulled a knife and ran out with the beer.

“It was kind of instinct to grab him,” Mabon said. “I was always taught to protect those around me. And I just grabbed a hold of him. I didn’t think he’d have a weapon on him, because he was just stealing beer.”

Officers say Tondryk served almost 30 years behind bars for a murder in 1989.

The Town of Gates honored Mabon Wednesday with a certificate for putting himself in harm’s way to try and stop it.

“I think more people should act and leave their phones in their pockets,” Mabon said. “It doesn’t help anybody. I wasn’t doing it for likes, I was doing it for the people in the store at the time.”

According to police, Jeffrey Tondryk is behind bars again. He was found on Tuesday by US Marshalls. He was granted parole for that 1989 murder sentence in June 2018 and was wanted for absconding parole last month.

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