Southeast Austin, TX — An Uber Eats driver is counting his blessings after he and a wanna-be robber drew guns on each other while he was on a delivery.
The driver took a delivery to Arbor Terrace apartments on Oltorf Street in Southeast Austin.
An order coming through at 2:30 am on a Saturday morning was nothing new for the driver.
Once he’d made the delivery and turned to walk back to his car, the driver saw a man standing ‘aggressively’ and very close behind him.
The delivery man didn’t wait for something bad to happen. Instead, he shouted, “Get awawy from me!” at the stranger. The man, later identified by police as Gabriel Menchaca Palomino, 37, didn’t listen. Instead, he asked, “Do you know what time it is?”
It was a thinly veiled attempt to distract the Uber driver. Meanwhile, Palomino pulled a bandana tied around his neck up over his mouth and nose.
Not the brightest criminal, but then, they never are.
Once his face was covered, Palomino pulled a Glock handgun out of his pocket and pointed it at the driver. Unshaken, the delivery driver pulled out a Sig Sauer P238 and pointed it right at Palomino’s chest.
Court records tell us what happened next: “For a brief second both Palomino and (the man) just stood there, not moving, when Palomino moved off toward the end of the parking lot.”
Unsure if the danger was really passed or if Palomino was simply finding a better vantage point to jump him, the Uber driver took cover between two vehicles in the parking lot. He slowly made his way back to his own car where he immediately called 911.
A Stroke of Luck
The dispatcher told him to leave the complex and head for the nearest well-lit gas station. The Uber driver found a 7-Eleven and waited for an officer to come. Amazingly, walking down the street not feet away, he spotted Palomino.
“That’s the guy who just tried to rob me,” the driver told the cop. The officer was able to grab Palomino and detain him. During his interview, Palomino—who we already know isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed—tried to claim that he was actually the Uber driver’s rescuer. He had not tried to rob the driver but was actually saving him from being robbed by another, unknown person.
Nobody bought it. The cops arrested Palomino for aggravated robbery. He was booked into the Travis County jail at 6:16 in the morning. Only four hours after the attempted robbery, he’s warming a cot in a cell. The judge set his bail at $40,000.
Uber prohibits their employees from carrying a gun while at work, but other than violating company policy, the Uber driver didn’t break any laws. He legally owned and was legally carrying the gun he pulled on the thug. So while he may lose his job, he didn’t lose his life and at the end of the day, that’s what matters.