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Man trying to rob Long Island hotel at gunpoint overpowered by staff, bystander: police

Posted: 5:27 AM, Sep 27, 2019
Updated: 2019-09-27 05:27:48-04

Jones Beach Hotel in Wantagh, Long Island (Google Maps)

WANTAGH, L.I. — A Connecticut man faces multiple charges after his attempted armed robbery of a Long Island hotel Thursday was thwarted when hotel staff and a bystander confronted and subdued him, according to authorities.

Police said 35-year-old Justin Gagnon of East Hartford walked into the Jones Beach Hotel in Wantagh around 12:20 p.m. and approached the front desk.

Gagnon took out a handgun and demanded the 23-year-old man working at the desk give him the money from the cash register, to which the hotel employee complied, officials said.

When a 62-year-old female hotel manager confronted the armed man, a struggle ensued and the man working the front desk was able to grab the gun from the would-be robber, according to police.

When the struggle moved outside the hotel, a 54-year-old man nearby got involved to assist the staff in holding Gagnon until police arrived and arrested him, authorities said.

Both hotel employees suffered minor injuries, while Gagnon was transported to a local hospital for treatment and evaluation, Nassau County Police said.

Gagnon has been charged with robbery, criminal possession of a weapon and criminal use of a firearm, and is scheduled to be arraigned Friday at the First District Court in Hempstead, officials said.