On the night of October 4th a man coolly walked into the reception area of Gracie Barra Nova Iguaçu, a Gracie Family licensed Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gym in northern Rio de Janeiro. The man said a few words to the receptionist before vaulting over a turnstile and attempting to steal her phone.
In a video of the incident, which comes via Jornal Destaque Baixada, you can hear the receptionist - who is pulled off screen - scream for help. Seconds later the assailant is seen running back through the reception area, out the door, and along the busy street.
Once the alleged bandido is clear from view, it becomes easy to see why he fled in such a hurry. Six BJJ practitioners, dressed in gis, run through the shot and out onto the street; intent on catching the man who had just tried to rob the receptionist. At least two black-belts are seen among the pursuing group.
“He surrounded me on the stairs and tried to take the cell phone out of my hand,” said the receptionist (via Jornal Destaque Baixada) about what went happened off camera during the incident. “The criminal tugged at my hair to try to lead me closer to him, but I jerked him away. Then, at that moment, he raised his shirt and said, 'I'm going to kill you.' But I could not tell what kind of weapon it was. I could not tell if it was a knife or a revolver. My luck was that one student saw the situation and called the other students. Frightened, the bandit ran and fled.”
The thief, who had a bike waiting for him outside, was able to escape the grapplers.
This was not the first attempted robbery at the gym this year. On June 14th armed robbers made their way into the gym’s dressing room. Video, again from Jornal Destaque Baixada, reveals one man holding a gym member at gunpoint as he steals backpacks from the gym’s cubby-holes. A second man, also armed with a pistol, is shown taking a hat and some sweaters.
It is unclear whether the men from either the October 4th or June 14th incidents were ever apprehended.