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Tonawanda bingo volunteers thwart robbery attempt by armed teen

There was no jackpot for a teenage girl with a gun who tried to rob a Town of Tonawanda bingo game earlier this month.

The 17-year-old got tackled by a pair of volunteers at Cardinal O'Hara High School who were in the middle of counting the money.

The two bingo volunteers, one in his upper 60s and one in his upper 70s, managed to kick the gun away from would-be robber and held her on the ground until police arrived, according to authorities.

"They held her down and called 911," Tonawanda Police Capt. Joseph Carosi said of the May 6 incident, which happened in the money-counting room shortly before 8 p.m. while the bingo game was still being played.

Once the Buffalo teen was on the ground, she bit both men, according to police. The gun, a .32-caliber semi-automatic pistol, wound up not being loaded.

The teen faces 14 charges, including first- and second-degree robbery, weapons possession on school grounds and assault, police said. Police declined to disclose her name, citing her eligibility for youthful offender status in the court system.

Cardinal O'Hara officials issued a written statement about the incident.

"We are always grateful to our volunteers for their dedication of time and effort to help the school," the school administration said in a statement. "To respect their privacy, and to be mindful of the fact that they may now be considered witnesses in a legal proceeding, we will leave this issue in the hands of law enforcement."

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