BREAKING: Gun involved in fight in front of Panera, involved party says
Two Tucson Police Department cars sit outside Panera Bread after an attempted bike thief was apprehended with civilian help. According to one involved party, the alleged thief had a gun, but this has not been confirmed by TPD.
The Tucson Police Department has released more information on Wednesday’s altercation in front of the Panera Bread on Park Avenue, including that the victim said he saw a gun.
According to TPD officer Frank Magos, the fight began after a man confronted another man who was stealing his bike. The suspect has since been identified as 22-year-old Nathan Botelho.
A district administrator for Amazon, Shane Nagore, helped subdue Botelho after the victim of the attempted bike theft shouted that he saw a gun, Nagore said.
While driving his normal route, Nagore said he noticed two men fighting on Park Avenue and put his car in park in case the fight escalated. According to Nagore, just as he stepped out of his vehicle, he heard the victim shout that Botelho had a gun.
“The would-be [bike] thief put his hand — and his sweatshirt was kind of raised up as they were tussling — you could see a revolver, you could see the grip of a pistol,” Nagore said. “And so, the guy whose bike was getting stolen … starts yelling, ‘He’s got a gun! He’s got a gun!’"
Nagore said he also saw a gun in the man’s possession. TPD has yet to confirm whether there was a gun in Botelho’s possession but has acknowledged the victim’s statement of seeing a gun.
“When they were standing in the street tussling, he had his hand on the grip of the pistol, the assailant did,” Nagore said. “… And [the victim] was pressing the guy’s hand sort of into his stomach so he couldn’t … draw his pistol out of his waistband … He did really well to make sure the guy didn’t fully draw his pistol.”
Nagore stopped his vehicle at the corner of James E. Rogers Way and Park Avenue and he said he ran across the street to assist the victim.
“I just kind of, like, lunged into them and we all three hit the ground,” Nagore said. “My knees were pinning [Botelho’s] right arm down, both of my hands were pinning his left arm down, and he was really strong, he even tried to bite us several times.”
According to Nagore, after holding Botelho down, the victim was able to disarm Botelho.
"When I had the guy down, [the victim] pulled it out and then held it up for people to see, I guess," Nagore said. "And then ... he kind of tossed it a few feet away."
Nagore continued to hold the man down with the help of the victim and another person, first a Panera Bread employee and then an onlooker, until police arrived, Nagore said.
“And we just held him there until the cops came three or four minutes later,” Nagore said. “And when you think about it, that’s kind of a long time when you’re laying across someone’s chest.”
While pinning Botelho down, Nagore said he asked for someone to get a bottle of water from his vehicle and he gave Botelho water to prevent him from passing out.
“He was pretty frantic to say the least,” Nagore said.
According to Nagore, while the man was pinned down, “the guy was saying he was sorry and asking just to be let go … I could smell the smoke and what reeked of alcohol and sweat … emanating from him, and it just kind of made me sad, at first, to be honest with you.”
According to TPD, Botelho has been charged with assault, theft, criminal damage, disorderly conduct and a narcotics violation.
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