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Man plans marriage proposal, gets interrupted stopping robbery

HICKORY, N.C. -- Nick Anderson hoped it would be a night to remember. He was proposing to his girlfriend after all. What he didn't know is that it would be a night to remember for a totally different reason.

Anderson and his girlfriend had gone to Salsarita's Restaurant in Hickory, N.C., for dinner when the plans for the night took an unexpected turn, reports CBS affiliate WBTV.

Nick Anderson demonstrates the stranglehold he put on an alleged robber at a North Carolina restaurant. He was dining with his girlfriend, who he planned to propose to during dinner.
Nick Anderson demonstrates the stranglehold he put on an alleged robber at a North Carolina restaurant. He was dining with his girlfriend, who he planned to propose to during dinner. WBTV-TV

The big question was stalled when Anderson noticed a commotion inside the restaurant where he was dining. A worker was racing after a man and yelling for help. According to witnesses, the man had gone to the register and demanded money.

Anderson stepped in when he saw the alleged robber try to hit the worker. Anderson put a stranglehold on him.

Luckily for Anderson and those inside the restaurant, an off-duty police officer was walking to his car when he heard the scuffle going on inside. He rushed in and helped wrestle the man to the ground.

"I figured I had to do something," Master Police Officer David Freeman told WBTV.

Police said the alleged robber fits the description of a man who had robbed the same restaurant twice before in the past month. The man usually indicated he had a weapon, though this time, according to police, there was no mention of one.

The suspect, now identified as Graham Kiziah, was detained by Freeman, Anderson and the worker until officers on duty arrived.

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Alleged robber Graham Kiziah. CBS affiliate WBTV

Police Chief Tom Adkins said patrons in the restaurant stood up and cheered after the arrest was made.

"We still don't know the motive or why he seemed to go to the same place every time," Adkins said.

Kiziah is charged with one count of common law robbery and two counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon for the other alleged incidents. He is jailed under a bond of $175,000. The investigation is ongoing.

"We are just thankful it turned out the way it did," Freeman told WBTV.

As for Anderson's original big plans for the night? He did finally get around to the proposal later that evening at a local park.

The answer?

"She said yes!"

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