The robber in a large Afro wig and sunglasses approached the clerk of a Vienna adult store as he was closing the business May 31. The intruder ordered the employee to empty the cash register and then to get on his knees.

With a gun pointed at him, the clerk had a terrible realization: If I comply, I will be shot.

So the clerk “elected to fight for his life,” Fairfax County Detective D.R. Bateman wrote in a search warrant describing the incident at the MVC Couples Boutique on Leesburg Pike.

The employee quickly turned the tables on the robber. He grabbed the intruder, knocking the gun to the floor. He then wrestled the robber to the ground, shaking loose the wig and the sunglasses, according to the search warrant.

With the robber’s disguise gone, the clerk had another jolt: He knew the man, the detective wrote. The suspect had entered the store earlier, and the clerk had told him he was the only employee working that day.

Realizing the robber’s identity spooked the clerk, so he broke off the fight, jumped up and ran from the business. The robber fled with the cash tucked into a backpack.

Detectives identified John Ivory Hudspeth, 30, of Manassas, as a suspect in the robbery, according to the search warrant. They searched a Reston storage space looking for the wig but came away empty-handed.

Hudspeth was arrested June 5 and charged with armed robbery and use of a firearm in commission of a felony.

An employee at the MVC store said the clerk is no longer working there. The employee did not have contact information for him.