Juan Rodriguez has owned a convenience store in New Bedford, Massachusetts for over 20 years. He doesn’t feel that his store, J&L Market, is in a particularly bad neighborhood, but there’s been at least eight robberies in his store.
The most recent attempt goes down as the most memorable. Joseph Defreitas allegedly pulled a knife on Juan during a robbery and quickly fled the scene. Several neighborhood members witnessed the robbery and chased Joe. Once they apprehended him, they quickly started beating the shit out of him.
Juan—the guy that just had a knife pulled on him—ran right into the mix, and put himself between the crowd and Joe to protect him from the beating. He knew that people were just protecting him and the store, but didn’t want to see a man beaten up—potentially to death.
Joe sustained substantial injuries and has been charged with armed robbery, and despite the robbery, Juan hopes he straightens himself out, “I just hope this kid can clean up and make something of himself,” he said.