Athens-Clarke officer foils possible armed robbery

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A police officer credits his stomach for helping him foil a possible robbery attempt at a local restaurant.

Athens-Clarke County Police Officer Brendan Branning said he stopped to grab a sandwich at the Subway on Gaines School Road when he noticed two men inside the shop acting suspiciously.

"As I walked in I saw a man who had a mask covering his face and we kind of made eye contact and as we did he started to pull the mask down," said Officer Branning. "You know, the hair sits up on the back of your neck. I mean, we're trained for that kind of sixth sense."

Branning said the men quickly ordered food and left.

"I looked at the clerk or the manager behind Subway and I said, 'Do you ever feel like you're in the right place at the right time?' And she said, 'Yes,'" Officer Branning recalled. 

He went out to the parking lot to find the two men parked in a handicapped spot and started to question them. Officer Branning said he got nervous when he heard a gun cock and he asked the men to step out of the car. Inside the vehicle, he found the loaded gun along with gloves and another mask.

"I do believe I did stop an armed robbery that day," said Officer Branning. "The manager, she actually ran up and gave me a hug afterward and she started crying and saying thank you so much because she was robbed before. So, it was a pretty stressful deal for her and I'm just glad my stomach was fighting crime that day."

Police charged the men with loitering and parking in a spot for persons with disabilities.