Gates Police arrest man convicted in 1989 murder following gas station robbery

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GATES, N.Y. (WHEC) — Gates Police say a man convicted in a 1989 killing is back behind bars, this time, following a robbery at gas station where officers say he pulled a knife on someone.

GPD Wednesday announced the Tuesday arrest of Jeffrey Tondryk, who was picked up by the U.S. Marshalls Fugitive Task Force in the City of Rochester.

Tondryk is accused of pulling a knife out during a robbery attempt at a Speedway store on Elmgrove Road early Friday morning. He’s facing a first-degree robbery charge.

Tondryk served 29 years in prison for the bludgeoning death of Robert Koehler in Rochester back in 1989, he is currently serving life on parole. Police are referring to him as a "parole absconder."

Gates Police Chief Jim VanBrederode says the department Wednesday will discuss Tondryk’s arrest, and what he says were "courageous" actions taken by a person inside the Speedway at the time of the incident.

Thomas Mabon of Gates, who often stops at Speedway for his morning coffee, saw what was happening and tried to stop Tondryk.

"The door was right there, and I threw him out the door," Mabon said. "That’s when he turned around he goes ‘I’m going to stab you,’ pull out a knife and I backed up real quick. He came and got the beer and that’s about it."

The Town of Gates and Gates Police presented Mabon with a certificate of appreciation on Wednesday.