It’s the nightmare of any taxi driver. You pick up a fare, and then that fare pulls a gun on you, demanding your wallet and personal effects in exchange for sparing your life. But it’s ever-so-slightly less of a nightmare when a cop is behind you, watching the entire thing.

“We can do this the hard way, or we can do this the easy way, man,” suspected attempt robber Victor Martinez-Herrera says to taxi driver Ralph Valletta. “Let me see your wallet, and let me see your phone. I need it all right now if you don’t want to die, man.”

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Valletta understandably pleads for his life, explaining that he doesn’t have any money in his wallet, before Berks County deputy sheriff Terry Ely shows up and arrests Martinez-Herrera. The whole ordeal lasts only 30 seconds or so, but it must have felt like an eternity to Valletta.

Valletta is understandably shaken up when it’s all over.

“Oh my God, oh my god,” he repeats. “I can’t believe it!”

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Same here.

Contact the author at ballaban@jalopnik.com.