Darth Vader robs Florida store

Store clerk threw jar of chip dip, hit suspect in the face

An armed man wearing a Darth Vader costume robbed a convenience store in Jacksonville Beach, Florida on Sunday night, according to WJXT.

The man, seen in surveillance video, held up the 8 Til Late on 3rd Street, according to the Jacksonville Beach Police Department.

They later determined the man was 32-year-old Jacob Mercer. He was charged with armed robbery.

Investigators said Mercer entered the store, showed a silver handgun and demanded money. The clerk told police he refused to give the man money and threw a jar of ranch dip at him, hitting him in the face.

After Mercer fled in a silver four-door vehicle with a New York license plate, police tracked him to a home on 5th Street South in Jacksonville Beach. A witness who said he saw Mercer pull off his mask as he was getting into the vehicle later positively identified Mercer as the man who fled from the convenience store in the costume, police said.

Richard Ehrman was one witness who said he saw Mercer before the robbery and thought that he was acting strange. 

"We were coming up here to buy beer and there was a guy standing at the corner and the reason I recognized him because he had a horseshoe in his nose," Ehrman said. 

Police said that after Ehrman left the store, Mercer put on a Darth Vader mask and walked into the store holding a gun and demanded money. 

"It was a very serious incident, not only for the clerk that is being a victim of the armed robbery, but anyone could have walked in at that time or what if someone was already in the back of that store. There are so many scenarios that could have played out," Jacksonville Beach Police Cmdr. Mark Evans, said. 

Ehrman said he wished he could have prevented the robbery, but that the clerk acted like a real hero.

"He got caught. Paul busted him in the nose with a jar. That was killer. That was awesome. If I had been inside this store, he would have been on the ground," Ehrman