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VIDEO: Security Guard Thwarts Mass Shooting, Disarms Masked Gunman Outside Packed Nightclub

Tampa, FL – A former professional wrestler working as a bouncer at a gentlemen’s club heroically stopped a gun-wielding man wearing a red devil mask from carrying out a possible mass shooting inside the bustling club early Sunday morning (video below).

The incident occurred at Mons Venus on North Dale Mabry Highway at approximately 1:15 a.m. on March 19, the Tampa Police Department (TPD) said in a video briefing on Tuesday.

Approximately 200 patrons were inside the club at the time, according to police.

Surveillance footage showed the suspect, 44-year-old Michael Rudman, as he walked past patrons and security guards outside the club and attempted to enter the building.

Rudman was wearing “a red and black devil mask and had the words ‘kill’ and ‘darkk one’ written on his arms,” according to the TPD.

He was also carrying a fully-loaded 9mm handgun in one hand and a flashlight in the other.

Rudman opened the door to the club and was beginning to step inside when one of the security guards quickly lunged at him and grabbed the gun the suspect was carrying, the video showed.

The weapon was knocked to the pavement during an ensuing struggle.

The security guard, 55-year-old former pro wrestler Manuel “Manny” Anthony Resto, said he initially thought someone was pulling a prank on him when he saw the masked assailant heading for the front door, KCPQ reported.

“I mean, I know a lot of big guys. 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 told the news outlet. “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.”

Resto said he focused his attention on the firearm and grabbed the gun and the suspect’s wrists with both hands, KCPQ reported.

Then, he turned the weapon back towards the assailant.

“What I wanted to do was get him on the ground and get the gun away from him,” Resto recalled.

The TPD said a single round from the suspect’s gun hit the front door of the venue during the melee.

No one was injured inside the club.

Security footage showed Resto picking up Rudman’s gun and pointing it at him, at which point the suspect charged at him.

The guard expertly evaded the hit and took the suspect to the ground, where he and two other security guards pinned him down.

TPD officers responded to the scene and arrested Rudman on charges of battery, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, and purchasing, possessing, or receiving a firearm while under a risk protection order, according to the video briefing.

The risk protection order was served on him by the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) last year.

Rudman was booked into the Falkenburg Road Jail, where he was being held without bond.

In addition to the firearm the suspect had been carrying, police said they also found two fully-loaded magazines in his pocket and an additional gun, nine knives, and ammunition inside his truck.

Investigators said Rudman had visited the club the night prior to the thwarted attack, but the motive for Sunday’s incident is unknown.

The security guards were treated for minor injuries, KCPQ reported.

The investigation remains ongoing.

“There is no question that the security guards who disarmed this suspect saved dozens of lives through their heroic acts, and I am thankful that our officers were able to take this individual into custody before he had the chance to carry out whatever he had planned,” TPD Interim Chief Lee Bercaw said in a statement. “We will continue to actively and thoroughly investigate this case to get a better understanding of what led up to this thwarted incident.”

Chief Bercaw said during a subsequent press conference that he has no doubt Resto and fellow security guard James Baham averted a “mass shooting,” KCPQ reported.

“Thanks to their heroic actions, today an armed suspect is in custody and no lives were lost,” the chief said. “We’re all thankful for their heroism… we’re grateful that they stood up. These are two great heroes who need to be recognized.”

Rudman has previously been arrested on charges of battery, domestic violence, DUI, and reckless driving, Chief Bercaw said.

Watch the incident unfold in the video below:

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin


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