West Hollywood Thieves Wanted a Rolex, but It Was on a Boxer’s Arm

A gym owner takes some lumps but manages to fight off the three muggers. His dog was no help.
West Hollywood Thieves Wanted a Rolex, but It Was on a Boxer’s Arm
The Lab at Sunset Boulevard and North Sweetzer Avenue in West Hollywood in July 2022. (Google Maps/Screenshot via Google Maps)
Rudy Blalock

Thieves in West Hollywood almost scored a free Rolex when they assaulted a gym owner on Sunset Boulevard.

Unfortunately for them, Rocco DiStefano, 29, put his amateur boxing skills to test fighting off the assailants and fleeing into a nearby store, according to security cam footage obtained by KTLA 5.

Mr. DiStefano owns The Lab Athletic Club, off Sunset Boulevard and North Sweetzer Avenue, where he was out front walking his dog Hercules around 2 p.m. on Feb. 27 when the thieves pulled up in a black car and quickly ran after him, pointing a gun at his forehead, Mr. DiStefano told the news station.

“I’ve never had a gun pointed to my forehead. So the one thing I was thinking was this is it,” he said. “When I turned around, it was three masked men running up on me, one had a gun.”

The thieves may have been scoping out the area, according to reporters, as the vehicle was going slowly before doing a U-turn and pulling up to a curb near Mr. DiStefano.

According to Mr. DiStefano, the attackers were shouting at him to take off his Rolex and threatening to shoot him, before they pounced and began punching and pistol whipping him. He tried to escape but was cornered near an elevator, before struggling free and running to a store.

Besides cuts and bruises on his head, he was otherwise fine, but said he may be making some lifestyle changes.

“I don’t want to stop living my life because of these things. I’m definitely going to be more cognizant of where I wear jewelry,” he said. “They’re going to have to do a lot more than kick me and hit me to take me down.”

Hercules, his frightened 4-year-old dog, bolted but was returned thanks to a passerby who witnessed the mugging, he added.

The thieves remain at large as authorities investigate. A Metro bus driving behind the getaway vehicle may have footage that could help police identify the car, or drivers, the news station reported.

Anyone with information is asked to call the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station at 310-855-8850.

Rudy Blalock is a Southern California-based daily news reporter for The Epoch Times. Originally from Michigan, he moved to California in 2017, and the sunshine and ocean have kept him here since. In his free time, he may be found underwater scuba diving, on top of a mountain hiking or snowboarding—or at home meditating, which helps fuel his active lifestyle.
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