CCTV shows an armed robber being beaten up and then consoled by his would-be victim as he sobs on the floor.
The footage shows the masked suspect initially threatening the petrol station attendant, Robert B, 20, with a knife, demanding money.
Robert B, who works at the station in Oldenburg in Germany, pushes the alarm button and rushes next door to grab a baseball bat.
He hits the bat over the attacker's head repeatedly until he drops his knife. Then in an unusual twist, the robber is seen hugging and pleading with his victim to stop.
According to Bild.de , he said: "Please let me go. I have a wife and kids."
The bleeding, whimpering robber – who is seen crouched on the floor – is then handed a paper towel by the sympathetic worker.
Bild.de reports Robert B as saying: "Later the police told me that he was lying. He wanted to spend the money for drugs."
According to the report the robber will go to jail for at least five years.