Fla. Police: Guards' 'Heroic Acts' Stop Gunman in Devil Mask at Strip Club

March 21, 2023
Video footage shows security guards disarming a masked man with a gun and flashlight outside a Tampa strip club, actions that "saved dozens of lives," said interim Police Chief Lee Bercaw.

By Chris Tisch

Source Tampa Bay Times

A gunshot was fired into the front door of Tampa’s Mons Venus strip club early Sunday morning after security guards encountered a man who was wielding a gun and wearing a “red and black devil mask” as he tried to get inside, police said.

The incident occurred about 1:15 a.m. at the famous club located at 2040 N Dale Mabry Hwy., according to a news release issued on Tuesday afternoon by Tampa police.

Police said Michael Rudman, 44, arrived at the club in a silver pickup. He got out of the truck while wearing the devil mask. He also had the words “kill” and “darkk one” on his arms, police said in the news release.

Rudman approached the club with a gun in one hand and a flashlight in the other, police said. A security guard at the club saw him, “engaged the suspect and knocked the weapon out of his hand,” the news release states.

Video shows the guard then picking up the gun and pointing it at Rudman, who rushed at him. A round discharged from the gun during the confrontation and hit the door. No one inside the club was hurt.

A total of three security guards were involved in the confrontation; one suffered minor injuries, police said.

Police were summoned to the club, where they found “additional ammunition, knives and firearm accessories” in Rudman’s truck. They also found two full loaded magazines in his pocket, the news release states.

Rudman was taken into custody on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, battery and purchasing, possessing or receiving a firearm while under a risk protection order.

Rudman had previously been served with a risk protection order by the Pinellas County County Sheriff’s Office last year. Risk protection orders are issued by a judge after a law enforcement agency requests that a person’s guns be removed if they are a danger to themselves or others.

Police said Rudman’s motives remain unclear, but they learned that he had visited Mons Venus the prior night.

”There is no question that the security guards who disarmed this suspect saved dozens of lives through their heroic acts, and I am thankful that our officers were able to take this individual into custody before he had the chance to carry out whatever he had planned,” said interim Chief Lee Bercaw. “We will continue to actively and thoroughly investigate this case to get a better understanding of what led up to this thwarted incident.”


©2023 Tampa Bay Times.

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Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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