On a Sunday morning in March, Tampa police arrested a man in a devil mask who was attempting to enter a strip club while armed. The quick thinking of several strip club security guards prevented a potential mass shooting by blocking the suspect, later identified as 44-year-old Michael Rudman, who was seen in dramatic surveillance video wearing a red and black devil mask with the words “kill” and “darkk one” on his arms. He allegedly approached the club with a loaded firearm in one hand and a flashlight in the other, arriving in a silver pickup truck at approximately 1:15 a.m. The surveillance footage showed the devil-masked Rudman fighting with one of the security guards, 55-year-old Manuel “Manny” Anthony Resto, before the guard was able to knock the weapon out of Rudman’s hand.
As Rudman approached the club, security guard Manuel “Manny” Anthony Resto, aged 55, initially believed it to be a prank. “It’s not Halloween. Maybe it’s some type of trick or gag. I’ve worked security for 30 years. I know a lot of bouncers. I thought it was one of my friends playing a trick on me, and he didn’t say a word,” Resto explained to FOX 13 Tampa. “And I was waiting for the punch line. Then all of a sudden he came right up to me, and he was a very big man. Very big. I saw him raise his hand and he had a gun.” After firing a single shot that struck the front door of the venue, Rudman engaged in a physical altercation with Resto, who managed to disarm him. Video footage shows Resto grabbing the weapon and aiming it at Rudman.
“I concentrated on the gun and I grabbed his gun hand and his wrists with both hands, and I turned it towards him. And then we started, you know, banging,” Resto told FOX 13. “What I wanted to do was get him on the ground and get the gun away from him. That was what I was trying to do when it happened.”
Police said a single round from Rudman’s gun was fired during the struggle. It hit the front door of the club. No one was hit by the bullet.
Two other security guards helped Resto restrain the suspect, identified by police as 44-year-old Michael Rudman, and keep him pinned to the ground until authorities arrived. (Tampa Police Department)
Resto and another guard subdued Rudman until police arrived.
After authorities arrested Rudman, they searched his pickup truck and found additional ammunition, knives and firearm accessories as well as two full magazines.
“There is no question that the security guards who disarmed this suspect saved dozens of lives through their heroic acts…”
Roughly 200 people were inside the venue at the time of the incident, police said. No one inside was injured.