Bellaire man grabs gun, helps make arrest

By Ryan Korsgard - Reporter

BELLAIRE, Texas - When Rick Melartin heard his neighbor in the 5300 block of Holly calling for help Monday morning, he sprang into action.

Melartin's neighbor had just been robbed at gunpoint as he was getting into his car. The robber got distracted and the victim grabbed his gun and screamed.

Melartin called 911 and came outside with his pistol. The robber took off without his gun and headed for an 89-year-old neighbor's backyard.

"She's a very, very dear friend of mine," Melartin said. "She's 89-years-old and I love her to death. I figured when he turned around and proceeded to go through to the gates into Ruby's backyard, I said, 'all bets are off.'"

He told the robber to stop or that he would shoot. He said he fired his .50 caliber gun into the ground as a warning shot.

"When this baby goes off, you know. You know that I mean business," Melartin said.  

He was able to wrestle Joseph Anthony Smith, Jr., 20, to the ground and take him away, at gunpoint, to police. Smith was charged with aggravated robbery.

Police think Smith may have had a getaway car driver nearby.

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