A would-be thief messed with the wrong teenager at a Lakeland gas station.
Nate Stewart, 17, was waiting for his mother to pick up her paycheck last week at the Sunoco gas station on US 92 when he says an angry man walked up to his window, showed a knife and demanded cash.
The guy, later identified as Luther Dunn, had no idea Stewart had easy access to a tire iron in his car.
"The guy ran up on him and Nate popped him," said Kim Stewart, Nate's mom. "I thought Nate broke his neck, I really did.
Nate tells ABC Action News he was just trying to protect himself and his mother.
"If he wouldn't have brought the weapon, I wouldn't have been worried about it but once he pulled out the weapon, I mean I didn't have a choice," he said.
Even after the tire iron to the back of the head, the Stewarts said the would-be thief would not let up, so Nate took it a step further and body slammed him.
"The guy was running on Nate again and Nate picked him up, flipped him upside down and dropped him on his head," Kim said.
Dunn was transported with the hospital with cuts and bruises. He was later booked in jail on charges of armed robbery.
He's a career criminal with seven felonies on his record.
"I'm very proud of him," Kim said of her son. "I didn't realize he was that strong, though."