HEMPFIELD TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — A grocery store employee in Westmoreland County is being hailed a hero after confronting a robber and preventing him from getting inside the store.

Ken Osenkowski says he was headed to the parking lot of the Shop ‘n Save in Hempfield Township when he saw a car pull up and a guy get out.

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“It was out of sorts,” said Osenkowski. “I could see he was all covered up and I knew that wasn’t good.”

The man was wearing a ski mask, sunglasses and was covered head to toe in black. He was also carrying a gym bag.

Police say the masked man was probably about to rob the store. What happened can be seen briefly on the store’s security cameras. Osenkowski confronted the man in black.

“Human reaction instinct,” he said. “I don’t know why, I’m second guessing it right now.”

Intercepted by the 20-year employee of the store, the would-be robber panicked and a scuffle ensued.

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“He cursed at me, shot me with mace and fled the scene,” Osenkowski said. “It happened all in about two seconds.”

State police say what Osenkowski did was heroic.

“In this case, by taking this initiative, if there was a gun involved, he had taken on the responsibility of protecting the people in the store and protecting his employees by having this confrontation take place in the vestibule where it was only him and the robber,” said Trooper Steve Limani, of the Pennsylvania State Police.

State police say the mace-wielding, masked man took off in a black, late-90’s Chevrolet Lumina. No license plate was displayed, but it had stock wheels and no tint on the windows.

It was said to be in good condition and there may have been a passenger with the suspect.

If you know anything about this individual or the car, call state police.

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