UPDATE: Bar customer overpowers robbery suspect

By: Max Hess - Email
By: Max Hess - Email

UPDATE: Posted Tuesday, May 13, 2014 -- 10:00 p.m.

Amanda Wondrash is a bartender at Alchemy on Madison's East Side.

She was working the night a man came in an allegedly tried to rob the Restaurant.

"It was about 1 o'clock right when I start my closing duties, and I'd gone over to adjust the lights and my back was to the door," she said.

Wondrash calls the neighborhood quiet, and says she enjoys her job -- but what happened on Sunday left her in shock.

"My first reaction was to back up and say no, no, no this isn't happening."

"He said 'give me the money' and it was kind of a reality check," she said, adding that she "went over to the register and started grabbing the bills from 20 to one."

Before the alleged robber could grab the cash, a customer jumped in to help.

That alleged robber was 42-year-old Jeremy Stanek, according to an incident report provided by the Madison Police Department.

"The gentleman that was to his right [came] around with a hook to his throat," Wondrash said.

She, alongside everyone else who was still in the bar, ran out of the back exit and in to the 'Stop N' Go' convenience store across the street.

The man who took the robber down was trained in Northern Shaolin kung fu -- and Wondrash says she can't thank him enough.

"Imagine if I would have been alone in this bar... I'm just so grateful that he was able to help."

That man is now being nominated by Madison Police for a citizen recognition award.

NBC15 reached out to him, but didn't get a response.

We also spoke with Madison Police, who say that they don't suggest people take things in their own hands -- because approaching criminals is dangerous.

In this case, a witness made a decision in the moment, and it happened to work out well.


Posted Monday, May 12, 2014 --- 9:41 a.m.

Madison Police say a customer overpowered a man who allegedly tried to rob the Alchemy Cafe early Monday morning.

A man entered the bar around 1:05 a.m. with a pipe in his hand and a green t-shirt around his face.

He told the bartender to give him money. The bartender complied.

A customer at the bar then overpowered the suspect and held him until police arrived.

Officers identify the suspect as Jeremy Stanek.

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