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Citizen helps gas station clerk during Port Arthur robbery, suspect facing felony charge

James Russel Smith is being held in the Jefferson County Jail on a $50,000 bond.

PORT ARTHUR, Texas — A suspect is facing a felony charge after a citizen stepped in to help a gas station clerk during a robbery in Port Arthur.

It happened on Tuesday, September 20, 2022. Port Arthur Police responded to a Citgo gas station located at 6599 West Port Arthur Road shortly before 10 p.m., after receiving a call about a robbery.

When officer got to the scene, they saw two men in, “some type of altercation,” according to a Port Arthur Police Department release.

A clerk told police that a masked man entered the store and demanded money in a threatening manner. The masked man was later identified as 62-year-old James Russel Smith, according to the release.

The clerk told police a man outside of the store heard what was happening, ran inside and detained Smith until police arrived.

Police arrested James and charged him with robbery. He was taken to the Jefferson County Jail where he is being held on a $50,000 bond, according to jail records.

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From a Port Arthur Police Department release: 

On Tuesday, September, 20, 2022 approximately 9:53PM, Port Arthur Police Officers were dispatched to 6599 West Port Arthur Rd., Citgo Gas Station, in reference to a robbery. When officers arrived on scene, they observed two male subjects in some type of altercation. The clerk advised officers, that the masked suspect entered the store and demanded money in a threatening manner. A citizen, who was outside the store, heard the commotion and ran inside. The citizen immediately went to the defense of the clerk and detained the suspect until police arrived. The suspect was arrested for Robbery and transported to the Jefferson County Correctional Facility.

The suspect was identified as 62-year-old, James Russel Smith.

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