When two masked men wielding a knife and handgun robbed the Royal Hotel at about 11 p.m. Tuesday, all the owners cared about — a senior couple — was protecting each other.
One assailant took the woman and started walking away with her, said the 67-year-old husband, who co-owns the bar with his wife in Stettler.
“I followed them.”
He grabbed a baseball bat he kept hidden for such an emergency, though in his more than two decades of running a business in Edmonton and Stettler, he had never needed it — until now.
“I picked it up and I started swinging,” he said, lifting his hands and making a circular motion.
But one of assailants took the bat and a fight ensued between the two.
That’s when his wife’s instincts kicked in and she tried to stop them from fighting.
“He tried to hit my husband,” she said. “I had to do something.”
During the scuffle, her hands were cut. Stettler EMS transported her to the Stettler hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Cpl. Cameron Russell of the Stettler RCMP said “two young males” stole an undisclosed amount of cash and were last seen running down the alley next to the hotel.
One suspect is described as about five feet to five-foot-three, wearing a white jacket, black mask and black gloves, and carrying a large knife, possibly a machete.
The second suspect is believed to be about five-foot-three to five-foot-six, wearing a grey hoodie, purple-striped hat and a black mask, and carrying a handgun.
Police believe the suspects might be linked to two previous robberies at the Stettler Fas Gas on Sept. 30 and Oct. 11.
Anyone with information is asked to call Stettler RCMP at 403-742-3382 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).