CRIME

'Karate Clerk' Who Stopped Alleged Mugging: 'I Just Kicked Him In The Face'

07/28/2014 01:23 pm ET | Updated Jul 28, 2014

With great power comes great responsibility.

Semi-pro mixed martial arts fighter Mayura Dissanayaka has been practicing MMA for over a decade. Earlier his month, his skills were put to the test in a very unexpected way.

Dissanayaka, who works as a clerk at a Houston gas station, says he sprang into action when a group of alleged muggers attacked a co-worker who was returning from a run to the bank July 10.

Surveillance footage captures the moment two of the would-be thieves leapt from a passing SUV to attack his friend. Dissanayaka rushes in to save the day.

"The first guy I saw, I just kicked him in the face," Dissanayaka told KPRC. "Then I punched the other guy."

One of the mugging suspects managed to escape in the car, but a blow from Dissanayaka knocked 33-year-old Odell Mathis, to the ground. That suspect was kept at the scene until police arrived.

Although Dissanayaka hold five back-to-back national championship titles in his native Sri Lanka, he said he only fought because his co-worker was in trouble.

"I have the skill to fight," Dissanayaka told KHOU. "If it's for a good cause, I would do it. [If] someone is getting beat up pretty badly for no reason, I would stop it."

Humble as he may be, Dissanayaka's actions have marked him as somewhat of a local hero. KPRC has dubbed him the "Karate Clerk."

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