July 1st, 2010

Don't mess with the bellydancers


Would-be robber gets the point

2010-06-26 15:48:00
Photo by Craig Fry/Yuma Sun

A knife-wielding, would-be thief should have thought twice about trying to steal the purse of local sword-wielding belly dancer.

“It was one of the weirdest things, one of those things you only see on TV,” said dancer Zarmineh Moody. “I guess it was like the police officer said: I had the bigger knife.”

The Yuma woman was the victim of an attempted armed robbery at the Fry's parking lot on 24th Street and 4th Avenue.

After having taught a class at World Gym, 5-foot 3-inch tall Moody said she stopped off at Fry's grocery store to do some quick shopping. While she was putting her groceries into her car, Moody said, she was approached from behind by a man with a knife who called her a nasty name and demanded her purse.

“I kept thinking ‘This can't be happening,'” Moody said, recalling the event from three weeks ago. “I looked back and saw the knife and had a panic attack.”

Moody said she told the robber that her purse was on the back seat of her car and that she would get it for him. “He kept calling me the ‘b' word and telling me to hurry up.”

Instead of getting her purse as the robber had demanded, Moody, a professional belly dancer whose specialty is dancing with swords, grabbed her 25-inch Turkish scimitar sword. She held it up to his stomach and asked, “You still want my purse?”

“I usually don't keep it there. It is usually in my trunk,” Moody said. “The only reason it was there was because I hadn't put it away yet.”

Moody said she and the robber stood facing each for a few moments, blades in hand, before she asked him a second time if he still wanted her purse.

“This time I poked him in the belly with the tip of the sword. I didn't blink. I kept eye contact with him the entire time.”

Realizing he wasn't going to get Moody's purse, he left the parking lot on a bicycle. Moody immediately called 911 on her cell phone to report the incident.

“I was unbelievably scared and shaking the entire time. I guess he wasn't expecting someone to challenge him like that.”

When police arrived, they asked Moody to explain what had happened.

“I could tell they were both amused but were trying to keep straight faces. They said ‘You are one brave and dangerous woman and I guess you had the bigger knife!'”

Moody said she still has the police report of the incident and is considering framing it as a keepsake.

James Gilbert can be reached at jgilbert@yumasun.com or 539-6854.