STOCKTON, Calif. (FOX News) - A witness, who recorded a video of two 7-Eleven employees in Stockton, California, attempting to thwart a would-be robber from mugging their store called the employees "courageous," adding that they did the "right thing."
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Police are currently investigating the employees for "suspected assault," although no arrests have been made, Stockton police told Fox News. The suspect had gone into the same 7-Eleven during the same 24-hour time period and stole items, according to police.
Louis Benton, who recorded the "a-- whooping," stopped for gas at a 7-Eleven on his way home Saturday morning to buy a Red Bull. Benton witnessed a man in a blue mask dumping cigarettes into a giant trash can. At one point, the suspect threatened to shoot the people inside.
Benton, a lifelong resident of California, told Fox News Digital the scuffle was caused by pent-up frustrations from dozens of prior robberies at the 7-Eleven. He said that a group of individuals routinely gather outside the 7-Eleven at night and rob the store.
"That store has been probably robbed dozens of times, [they're] dealing with a lot of issues and problems. [Thieves] gather there at night, and they walk in and take things. That's not the first time I seen something in that store," Benton said.
"I believe [the workers] were frustrated, emotions was high, but I believe they did was courageous and did the right thing. Instead of taking a gun or taking something that could really harm him. And I'm glad the guy hit them below the belt. Not above the belt, but also to, you know, has come to a point where I know it was enough. So, you know, I wanted to make sure that everyone made it home that night. Everyone was safe and no one made a decision to take them completely to jail or for life or lose a life.," he continued.
Benton, a business owner of StayWinning – a clothing boutique in the area –, understands the frustrations that erupted in the 7-Eleven. When he first opened up his store, his windows were smashed and his store was robbed, Benton said.
"We go into grocery stores… and we see it all the time. So some people come in with a backpack, start putting things into a backpack, walk out. And then the security can't touch them, you know, by law. So only thing you do is call the authorities. But authorities are so busy with other things that's more important. So they choose what's important and what's not important."
In the case of the Saturday attempted robbery, the suspect squeezed by one of the workers as he was robbing the store, and the two locked arms and began to scuffle. Then, a second employee with a stick walked up to the suspect and began beating him with it.
"He was threatening them in a way," said Benton. The suspect briefly pulled what appeared to be a knife out of his pocket.
"It's just been catastrophic in a way," said Benton about soft-on-crime policies, especially for his own boutique.
"We've been [in Stockton] for about a month. And so when we first got there, the first week we were burglarized. Someone broke the window, went in and took items. So we are affected, too, from what's been going on," he said.
Benton said store owners should do their best to prevent robberies through security cameras, metal bars and other preventative means.
"I'm here and work to weather the storm. I'm here to stay. And I hope the community wants to be here with us and we want to make sure that we always have the great mindset of winning," he added.
Benton believed the laws needed to be changed. The California State Senate recently passed a bill that would put restrictions on stopping thieves in stores.
"It's just been it's a difference because of the law," he said. "I don't know why they passed it, but I guess voting will probably change it, which we probably need to do, because right now this is out of hand."