Mom Chases Off Robber After Baby Threatened

ABC News Blogs

A Massachusetts new mom fended off a robber with a broom when he entered her shop and threatened to harm her infant child.

Maria Pinguil was behind the counter at the Ecuamerica convenience store Brockton, Mass., which she and her family have only owned for a few months, at 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday when a man identified as Michael Vargas, 30, entered and demanded money, ABC affiliate WCVB reported.

During the attempted robbery, Vargas also allegedly threatened her 5-month-old infant girl, Guadelupe. That's when Pinguil had had enough.

Pinguil's motherly instincts quickly came into play, and she attacked Vargas with a broom. Security camera footage shows Vargas then lunging at Pinguil, but an unnamed customer that was in the store at the time of the attempted robbery held him back.

"My wife put the baby underneath the table, and she took a broom and said, 'Get out of her!'" Pinguil's husband told WCVB.

At that point Pinguil hid baby Guadalupe behind the counter and went after Vargas, chasing him out of the store with a broom. She even broke the broom on his back.

Vargas had taken a taxi to the store, allegedly intending to rob it. After the suspect was chased off, he then stole the waiting taxi and severely injured the driver as he drove off, according to WCVB. Police later found the cab abandoned.

Pinguil didn't realize it at the time, but she had been slashed on her side, and needed a number of staples to close the wound. Other than that injury, she and Guadelupe were okay after the attack.

The next day, Vargas went to the Good Samaritan Medical Center to seek treatment, where he was arrested on a separate outstanding warrant, and charged Wednesday.

Vargas will be arraigned in Brockton District Court on charges of armed robbery, assault charges, leaving the scene of a crime, and operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license and larceny under $250.

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