Bouncer Takes Down Devil-Masked Gunman at Tampa’s Mons Venus Strip Club

A bouncer standing guard outside a well-known Tampa strip club stopped an armed-to-the-teeth gunman in a devil mask from barging inside—quite possibly preventing a massacre, police said.

Manny Resto, a former mixed-martial arts fighter and professional wrestler, told reporters that at first, he wasn’t sure what to make of the burly man marching toward the Mons Venus door with a flashlight in his hand.

Then he saw the pistol in his other hand.

“I saw him point it toward the door and I decided he was not going to enter the club and hurt anybody,” Resto, who used to perform under the nickname “Puerto Rican Punisher” said at a press conference.

Resto disarmed the suspect, identified as Michael Rudman, 44, and then picked up his gun to hold him at bay. Security video shows Rudman try to rush Resto, who knocked him down. A second guard, James Baham, ran over to help him subdue Rudman until police arrived.

Police said that in the Sunday early-morning fracas—which Resto called “a fight for my life”—a single bullet was fired into the door of Mons Venus but no one inside was hurt.

“There is no doubt in my mind that had it not been for the brave men you see standing next to me, we could have been here discussing a mass shooting,” Interim Tampa Police Chief Lee Bercaw said.

Bercaw did not say what Rudman’s motive might have been, but he had visited the club the night before. He had the words “KILL” and “DARKK ONE” scrawled on his arms, and he had two fully loaded magazines in his pockets, along with more ammunition and knives in his truck, cops said.

Tampa police said Rudman was served with a risk protection order, preventing him from possessing a gun, in Pinellas County last year. He is now charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon among other crimes.

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