Vietnam veteran, 70, fights off robber at North Carolina Waffle House

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A surveillance photo provided by police of the attempted armed robbery suspect who allegedly tried to rob the Waffle House at 650 S. Reilly Road in Fayetteville.

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. – A 70-year-old Army veteran is credited with stopping an armed robbery at a North Carolina Waffle House, fighting off the suspect with his cane.

Police said they were called to a Waffle House restaurant in Fayetteville shortly before 5:30 a.m. last Saturday in reference to an attempted armed robbery.

A man entered the business and pointed an “AK-47 style rifle” at employees demanding money, according to police.

WRAL reported that Phillip Brooks was sitting near the register eating breakfast at the time of the incident.

Brooks served two tours in Vietnam where he saw “a lot of AK-47s.” So he knew something about the suspect’s weapon didn’t look right.

“This thing was wood almost all the way up to the end of the barrel. No trigger guard, no trigger,” he said. “All the working parts were missing, so I just told the girls, ‘Don’t give him anything. That’s a fake gun.'”

When the suspect pointed his weapon at the veteran, the vet hit him with his cane, according to WRAL. The two proceeded to fight, using a cane and a fake AK-47.

“I hit him in the nose with my cane,” Brooks said. “He kept batting it away with the barrel of the rifle, and I kept batting the barrel of the rifle away.”

The suspect ended up being chased out of the restaurant by several customers. He was last seen jumping over a fence. Police are still looking for him.