ARLINGTON, Texas - Police have taken four juveniles into custody accused of pistol-whipping and robbing an off-duty Arlington police officer outside a convenience store.
The robbery happened around 7:30 a.m. Wednesday after the officer had just gotten off of work. He stopped at a QT, and was attacked.
Division and Collins streets is where three attackers jumped an off-duty Arlington officer, pistol whipped him, and then robbed him while he pumped gas. A fourth suspect was waiting inside the getaway car.
"You see on the video, the first suspect punches the officer flat in the front of the face, it kind of catches the officer off guard. Then the second suspect with the firearm, he begins striking the officer on the left side of his face, on top of his head," Arlington PD Lt. Christopher Cook said.
Police are not yet releasing video of the attack that happened not far from the Arlington Police Department.
Police say he did draw his gun as the boys were leaving, but did not shoot.
The suspects names are not being released because they're under 17 years old.
"He kind of crouched down to avoid being assaulted further. At that point, they demanded his personal property," Cook said.
The early morning attack was swift, and so was the hunt that followed.
By Wednesday afternoon, police said the suspects’ vehicle, a stolen white sedan, was spotted and pulled over in Dallas.
"That's kind of how this case broke open, was really by luck on this one," Cook added.
Three juveniles were then arrested when police found the vehicle. The fourth suspect was later arrested as well.
"We have the getaway driver. In Texas if you are associated in any manner on an aggravated robbery like this which is a first degree felony you can be implicated and charged as well," Cook explained.
The Arlington officer had just ended his shift before the brazen attack.
"He was wearing a regular jacket, so I don’t think he was targeted because he’s an Arlington officer, probably it was a crime of opportunity," Lt. Cook explained.
The officer had removed his uniform shirt and belt bag. Both were inside his personal vehicle.
He had another firearm in his waistband, and managed to keep it hidden during the assault, rationalizing his own safety.
"In his mind, there were four of them and one of him. He didn’t know if the gun they had was real or fake," Lt. Cook added. "His gun was real, but he thought if he pulled out his gun and identified himself as a police officer, what if the others had guns as well? He’s completely outnumbered. So yeah, he made the decision to comply with the robbery."
The officer handed over his wallet and personal cell phone.
Police said his reaction at that point, deciding not to shoot, is worth noting.
"He drew down on the car, which essentially means he pointed his gun at the suspects. One of them yelled out, ‘He’s got a gun, he’s got a gun,’ and then they exited the parking lot very quickly," Cook said. "When the decision was made by the suspects to flee, deadly force would not have been authorized at that point because the threat is no longer there and the suspects are simply trying to flee, so that was the right decision."