Man who kicked knife-wielding robber in face says he'd do it again

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The picture was worth 1,000 words – probably more, actually, considering how many have been written about it.

You can see the bottom half of Jesse Moore standing on top of a cash register counter, one leg swinging upward to kick a knife-wielding robber directly in the face.

The 21-year-old Moore spoke with WCCO, telling the station he'd do it again.

“I was outside looking in, you know, so I took it upon myself to go back in the store ’cause the lady, you understand, she was behind the counter, she just started giving him everything,” Moore told the station.

He was waiting for a cab, he said, near the CVS on Maryland Avenue E. and Arcade Street in St. Paul. It was a little before midnight on a Monday, Feb. 24. That's when a masked man – who police say had also just attempted to rob a gas station nearby – walked by, ignoring Moore's request for a light. Moore tells WCCO he watched the man pull out a knife; then the woman behind the register start giving him everything.

Moore entered the store, and while the robber was distracted, hopped on the counter. That's when he delivered the one-legged kick that's gotten his lower half on TV and computer screens all across the state.

“When he was getting ready to leave out the door — that’s the picture you got — I kicked him in his face,” Moore tells WCCO.

A struggle ensued, Moore says, and the suspect fled with just $112 in stolen cash. More importantly, Moore's blow knocked the thief's cellphone to the ground – a device he left behind at the scene of the crime, and which police later used to make an arrest.

Although it took awhile.

Simon James Hanson, 28, of Forest Lake, is charged with first-degree aggravated robbery, attempted robbery, and fleeing an officer in a motor vehicle – all in connection with events police say happened that night, both before and after the scuffle at the CVS.

Twenty minutes earlier and less than two miles away, police say Hanson tried to rob a Corner Gas station – they say surveillance video at both locations show it is the same suspect.

A gas station employee told police a man brandished a butcher knife and demanded money, but a worker pushed the silent alarm and the suspect ran out out of the store. From there, police say he went to the CVS, got kicked in the face, and dropped his phone – the key to his arrest shortly after.

While investigating at the convenience store police were notified of the left-behind cellphone. It rang, and on the other end, police say, was Hanson; he wanted his phone back. Without identifying themselves as officers, police arranged a meeting. When Hanson showed up, squad cars moved in – and police say Hanson fled, leading them on a chase through the metro that reached 80 miles per hour.

He eventually pulled over and was arrested, police say.

At the time of his arrest, Hanson was wanted on a felony warrant for trying to use a forged check and counterfeiting.

All captured in a picture worth 1,000 words . And for the woman at the cash register that night, probably even more.

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