The man is accused of walking into the muffler shop just before 9 a.m. Monday brandishing a gun and demanding money. There was no money, a worker said. A manager, who was not at the shop, was the only one with information about how to get in to the safe.
But the gunman gave workers a request before he left. He left them his cell phone number and wanted workers to call him once the manager arrived so the safe could be unlocked.
The workers, instead, dialed 911.
"No one could make this up," said Grand Central District police Lt. Scott Schwieger.
By noon, a plan had been mapped out to nab the suspect. He got the call he requested, but Grand Central District police tactical officers, who typically work in plainclothes, were waiting for his arrival.
When the man walked into the muffler shop and showed his gun, a tactical officer announced he was a police officer, Schwieger said.
According to police accounts, the suspect pointed a gun at the officer, and the officer fired twice, with one bullet hitting the suspect's leg. The suspect's gun did not discharge and no one else was injured.