A daring act of bravery unfolded in a Queens supermarket, where Ray Wilkins, a 49-year-old butcher, emerged as an unlikely hero. In a bold confrontation, Wilkins foiled an attempted robbery and assault by a notorious criminal, putting his own safety on the line.
The incident, which has sent shockwaves through the local community, occurred at the Stop & Shop on Beach Channel Drive in the Rockaways. It was around 8 p.m. on Friday when Jack Crumbley, 23, a known career criminal with a violent history, decided to target the store. He allegedly swiped items including ice cream, chips, and beauty care products. But his spree turned violent when he attacked a 19-year-old autistic employee, blindsiding him with a barrage of punches.
Wilkins, just off his shift and warming up his moped, witnessed the attack. Initially thinking it was a friendly interaction, he quickly realized the gravity of the situation. “He hit him in the face repeatedly… before I was able to get over there,” Wilkins recounted. With quick thinking and courage, he managed to pull Crumbley off the victim.
The situation escalated as Crumbley turned his aggression towards Wilkins, threatening him and hinting at a concealed weapon. “Do you want this smoke?” Crumbley taunted. A physical altercation ensued, with both men exchanging blows.
Refusing to let Crumbley escape, Wilkins pursued him even as the assailant attempted to flee, jumping over a fence. Despite injuring his back in the chase, Wilkins persisted, keeping 911 informed of the unfolding drama. His perseverance paid off near the NYPD’s 100 precinct station house, where he successfully alerted the police.
Crumbley’s arrest brought an end to the chaos. This wasn’t his first brush with the law; he boasts over 20 prior arrests and was already wanted on an open bench warrant for a separate unprovoked attack last year. In that incident, Crumbley allegedly assaulted a Queens bus driver, only to be released later.
Now, Crumbley faces charges of robbery, assault, and harassment for his latest crime spree. This extraordinary tale of a supermarket butcher turning into a vigilante hero captures the spirit of a community standing up against violence and crime. Wilkins’ actions not only prevented further harm but also ensured that a dangerous criminal was brought to justice.