North Fulton County

Man uses MMA training to stop suspected shoplifter

NORTH FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — A suspected shoplifter learned the hard way what happens when you square off with someone trained in martial arts, and now he’s facing serious charges.

Surveillance video from inside the Bottle Shop on Roswell Road appears to show Tommy Padgett concealing a bottle of alcohol Saturday night.

The owner’s son, Suk Cho, spotted it happening and confronted Padgett as he tried to leave.

"I tried to take the bottle away from him, but he said he didn't take it," Cho told dispatchers in a 911 call obtained by Channel 2's Mike Petchenik. "Please just send somebody here right now."

Video shows Cho pushing Padgett as he tried to leave, and then the pair getting into a scuffle that poured onto the sidewalk outside the store.


Cho told Petchenik he’s trained in martial arts and was able to subdue the Atlanta man until police could arrive.

“He’s very brave,” said Greg Robinson, who works at a barbershop next door. “For him to do that and come out unscathed. That’s amazing.”

Robinson said he thinks it’s sad people try to target small businesses.

“They’re hard working people,” he said. “You should always be ashamed of yourself when you want to take away from people just to make yourself feel better.”

Police charged Padgett with robbery and aggravated assault because, according to a police report, he pulled a knife on Cho during the scuffle.

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