The Block is Hot Around New Times

Things are getting heated around the ole New Times HQ.

Last week, an unknown gunman capped 33-year-old Gregory Poux inside one of the wash bays of the Winwood Windwood Car Wash on NE 29th Street and Second Ave.

Today, a disheveled middle-aged man tried to jack the Service Center -- where folks cash paychecks, send wire transfers, and log on to the Internet -- on 29th Street and Biscayne Boulevard.

According to the center's owner Rafael Martinez, as he walked to the security-locked area in the rear of his business, the would-be robber got up from one of the computer stations and approached the register. He opened it and grabbed about $515 in cash.

If it wasn't for the Batmanesque moves of customer Armando Saenz, the culprit would probably be on his way to his favorite dope hole by now. Saenz tackled and tussled with the suspect long enough for Martinez and his two daughters to call the cops and help subdue the man.

"He was punching me and I was punching back," Saenz said, sporting a big vigilante smirk. "But we got him."

Five Miami Police squad cars and an officer on a horse arrived on the scene in less than five minutes and cuffed the man.

According to Martinez, fending off criminals trying to take his hard earned cheddar or steal his computers is a regular affair. "Every three to four weeks someone tries to rob us," he says.

So word to the wise: Watch your back and protect your neck on and around NE 29 Street.

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