The Reading man who was robbed and shot at a laundromat in Berks County is speaking out.
Thursday started out as an ordinary day for Eric Vouse as he was folding his clothes at the Wash Around the Clock laundromat.
Things, however, quickly changed when police said he was approached by 18-year old Pablo Martinez Jr., who was wearing a mask and pointing a rifle at him, demanding his wallet and cell phone.
"He asked for my cell phone and he directed me as I was giving him my cell phone, before I even reached it out of my pocket, he told me he wanted me to lay down and he had to search me," said Vouse. "And I thought that was not going to happen because I think if I laid down and he shot me, then all that I was living for up until that point of my life would have been in vain."
At that point, Vouse said he was scared, but he knew he had to start fighting. He threw his phone down and grabbed a garbage basket to swing at his attacker.
His attacker fired a shot that grazed Vouse's head, but Vouse said he kept fighting until he got the upper hand, and he has the scars to prove it.
"He actually begged me to let him up and he would walk out the door because I had him in his throat. I had him everywhere. I would not turn him loose," said Vouse. "I was fighting for my life."
Vouse said Martinez finally retreated and Vouse got in the car and drove himself to the hospital.
Looking back, Vouse said he would not do anything differently.
"Do not go along with the program. Fight back. These knuckleheads can be whooped. They are not invincible. Just fight back. Do not be scared," said Vouse, who was treated at the hospital for the gunshot wound and released.
Martinez was later arrested on robbery and aggravated assault charges and committed to the Berks County Jail on $750,000 bail.