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Man robbed at gunpoint on Moonlight Beach shares terrifying story

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Posted at 5:05 PM, Oct 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-28 20:57:47-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Nick Petro sat on the Moonlight Beach sand to make a phone call Tuesday night when a man in a ski mask put a gun to his head.

The armed robbery victim says it was around 8:30 p.m. and pitch dark when he put his back to a wooden umbrella on the desolate north end of the beach. While Petro was talking to a colleague, a masked man approached him from behind, pulled out a gun, and demanded everything he had.

RELATED: Sheriff asks for help to find suspect in armed robbery near Moonlight Beach in Encinitas

"He said 'this is no effin joke,'; that he was going to kill me if I don't give him all my possessions," Petro said in an interview Thursday,

"He took the gun...and he put it right to my temple, and could have taken my life."

Petro says he stayed calm and threw his earbuds on the sand and then his phone. The robber appeared to be nervous, and he grabbed one earbud before moving toward the hill that led into the neighborhood above the beach.

The masked man then stopped and delivered one last message.

"And then pointed the gun back at me and said, 'if you call 911, this is no effin joke, I will kill you,'" said Petro.

When the man was out of view, Petro called 911 and within five minutes, Sheriff's deputies swarmed the beach, bringing the K-9 unit, while a helicopter flew above.

The victim says he is grateful for the large law enforcement response, and that he will continue to visit Moonlight Beach multiple times per week.

"I won't let that experience rob me of my worth, of my value."

The Sheriff's department is asking anyone with information to call (858) 565-5200 or contact Detective Chad Latonio from the North Coastal Sheriff's Station at (760) 966-3523.