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Woman pelts robbery suspect with bananas
By JAMES MacPHERSON
Associated Press Writer
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) -- Crystal Senger stopped at a convenience store to buy pop and cigarettes, and she saw the clerk being choked in a robbery attempt. She ran to call for help. Then she started throwing bananas.
Senger, 19, said she grew up playing organized baseball, and used those skills to pelt the suspect in the head with every banana she threw, from about 10 feet away.
"I was seven-for-seven," Senger said in a telephone interview Thursday. "They were green bananas - not the ripe mushy ones - so they hurt."
Senger said the suspect, who police said was intoxicated, was stunned from getting hit by the flying fruit.
A 17-year-old was arrested after he bolted from the Devils Lake store and tripped over a piece of wood, after a short foot chase, Police Chief Bruce Kemmet said. The teen had no weapon and no money was taken from the store, Kemmet said.
Police said the suspect, who was not identified because of his age, stood more than 6 feet tall, and weighed about 300 pounds. He allegedly entered the Holiday Station Store about 1 a.m. Tuesday.
"It's pretty simple. The guy walked into the store and said something to the effect of "Give me what I want,"' Kemmet said.
"He threw me around like I was nothing," said store clerk Ed Bingham, "and I weigh 220 pounds." Bingham said the suspect kicked and punched him for what "felt like forever."
Bingham, 43, said he pushed a button that alerted the store's security company.
"When I walked in the store, I saw Ed in a choke hold, yelling for help and gasping for air," Senger said. "There was blood everywhere."
She ran out and told her friend to call 911 on her cell phone. "She was in shock, so I had to do it," Senger said.
Senger said she came back in the store and "screamed at the top of my lungs at him to stop." When she was sure the suspect was unarmed, she began bombarding him with bananas.
Senger said the basket of bananas was the closest thing she could find. "If there would have been cans of soup on the counter, I would have thrown those at him," she said.
Bingham, who has worked at the store 15 years, said he had a swollen eye and needed four stitches to close a cut on his eyebrow. He returned to work Wednesday night.
Kemmet said the suspect faces a number of charges in juvenile court, including robbery, assault and underage drinking.