Cook tackles armed robber in Fairbanks lounge

Posted: Tuesday, March 19, 2002

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The Oasis Restaurant and Lounge can put a sign up in its window, ''Beware of Cook,'' after a cook named Cook nabbed an armed robber who interrupted his pool game early Sunday morning.

Bill Cook, 31, who has worked three years at the Oasis, said he was playing pool after his shift when two armed men entered through a side door.

''I was actually winning, which is the irritating thing because my friend I play pool against usually beats me,'' Cook said during his normal shift at the restaurant Monday.

One of the men allegedly fired a handgun at the ceiling and yelled for the roughly 20 people in the bar to get down on the floor.

''I heard the shot,'' Cook said. ''I thought it was a joke.''

He realized it wasn't a joke when one of the men, later identified as 32-year-old Timothy Rogers, jumped over the bar close to where Cook was standing. That's when Cook lunged at the hooded man.

''I probably grabbed him about the same time his feet hit the floor,'' Cook said. ''I didn't think; I just did it.''

Two bar patrons, Edward Reimer and Thomas Glascock, helped Cook with Rogers. Cook was hit in the face with the gun in the process and suffered a cut lip. He eventually yanked the gun away from Rogers. Alaska State Troopers said the .357-caliber Smith & Wesson revolver wasn't loaded.

''As far as I knew, I thought it was loaded,'' Cook said.

Meanwhile, Rogers' alleged accomplice fled through the door he had entered, Cook said.

Bar owner Curt Franklin said another patron was sitting at the bar near a phone and when he ducked down, he took the phone with him and called 911. Troopers said the call came in at 1:10 a.m.

Cook said people have been calling him a hero.

''I don't feel like a hero,'' Cook said. ''Any one of the other guys in here would have done the same.

''I was just standing in the right place at the right time. If I had been back there working, I would not have been able to do anything,'' said Cook, who is described by co-workers as a quiet and nice man.

''We're pretty proud of Bill,'' Franklin said. ''I wouldn't want any of the employees restraining any armed men, but it worked out fine this time.''

Rogers was taken by ambulance to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital where he was treated for injuries suffered in the melee. Later, he was arrested and taken to Fairbanks Correctional Center where he was arraigned Sunday on a charge of first-degree robbery. He is being held on a $25,000 bail.

Trooper Investigator Jeremy Rupe said Rogers' accomplice has been identified, but hasn't been located yet.

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