“I punched him in the face to get off me,” Jacksonville teacher fights off would-be robber

Teacher punches robber

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A Jacksonville teacher said she fought off a would-be robber Friday inside a Westside dollar store.

“I told him, ‘You’re not taking my card,” teacher Christina Kittle said. “So, as soon as he tried to reach for it, I punched him in the face to get off me.”

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office was called to the Family Dollar on Firestone Road Friday morning around 8:30 a.m. for a robbery.

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That’s where Kittle said she started her day, buying supplies for a class project. “I'm waiting in line to get the poster board rung up, and a guy comes behind me and grabs me by the neck and pushes something in my back and says, 'I'm going to let [you all] know, this is a robbery right now and I have a gun,” Kittle said.

Kittle said he pushed her on the counter, demanding money from the register and her card. She said as he reached for her card, she punched him.

“I bet he wasn’t expecting you to fight back,” Action News Jax Reporter Russell Colburn said.

“No, that really threw off his whole day,” Kittle said. “He was very thrown by that, so his whole plan got ruined after that point, and it also gave the workers time to call the police and snap pictures of him, so he just ran after that.”

Kittle said he did get cash from the register and her wallet with just an ID inside. “I risked it because I didn't want him to take my money,” Kittle said. “I just got paid, and teachers don't make a lot, but it's still my money, so I didn't want him to take it, and so I fought.”

She never saw a gun, and so far, JSO hasn’t said whether officers believe the man was armed.

Kittle was shaken up, but not hurt, and said this wouldn’t keep her from her students at nearby Jefferson Davis Middle School.

Her students did projects profiling role models for Black History Month. It's clear they also have one tough teacher to look up to.

So far, neither the store or JSO has provided Action News Jax with any images of the suspect.

Kittle describes him as a black man with a distinct skull tattoo on his neck.