Every day, chronic pain from rheumatoid arthritis throbs in Kyle Poole's body.
At 20, Poole needs a hip replacement due to degenerative joint disease.
He's had arthritis since age 4 and experiences physical limitations in adulthood.
But, on an unexpected winter night in Chesterfield Township, he momentarily overcame his health obstacles and did something police call heroic—chase after a robber armed with a knife.
Drive-thru stop is far from norm
Around 10:30 p.m. Jan. 31, Poole and fiancée Jessica Burnia, 21, were leaving a corn-hole toss game in Mount Clemens with friends.
He craved a McChicken sandwich; she was thirsty. So, they decided to swing by the drive-thru of the McDonald's on 23 Mile Road near Interstate 94, where Poole used to work and Burnia is a manager.
"We were coming up to the speaker box and all we seen was this guy running backwards with a bag," Poole said.
According to police, they spotted 35-year-old Roland Lee Moore Jr. whom detectives say leaned into a customer's car, stole her purse and laptop and stabbed her several times in the hand area seconds before. A car between the couple and victim drove off at some point, leaving Poole and Burnia to only guess what happened.
His first reaction was to hit the suspicious man with his car, Poole said. But, his fiancée warned him not to because, in the darkness, she initially thought it was a mere prank.
"She's a manager here," he said. "We see a lot of people fool around like that."
Then, Poole heard the victim's screams for help and sprung to action despite pleas from Burnia to stay in the car for safety.
He grabbed a bat he keeps in the car for her protection. He never had to use it before, he said.
"I chased him. I yelled at him twice. I say 'Hey!'" Poole said, running after the thief all the way to a nearby gas station where he tried to get others' attention to stop the suspect to no avail.
Moore, a parole absconder with a violent criminal history, escaped on a bicycle, authorities said. Police eventually nabbed him following a two-day, multijurisdictional manhunt. He faces felony charges of armed robbery and assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder and another unarmed robbery charge for a separate incident. The woman, who was stabbed in the drive-thru lane, recovered from injuries and testified at his preliminary exam in New Baltimore.
'Overwhelmed with courage'
Chesterfield Township Police Detective Sgt. Deron Myers said Friday that Poole's actions were caught on surveillance video outside the fast-food restaurant.
"We generally recommend that you don't put yourself in harm's way over property...but the fact that he came out of it all right, it was definitely heroic," Myers said.
Aware of Poole's physical condition, Myers said the citizen "became overwhelmed with courage."
That's how Burnia describes it. She watched tapes from the incident and says drive-thru employees also did their best to stop the attack from inside the window, .
"Who's going to get out and run? Not me because I'm scared," she said.
Despite Moore's 240-pound stature, Poole says he wasn't afraid. "I used to fight a lot. I used to be a bad kid," he said. "I had trained for mixed martial arts. Plus, I had a bat."
Later that night, Poole, who attended L'Anse Creuse High School North with Burnia and works in a Chesterfield factory, endured severe pain from running in his physical condition. But he says he has no regrets.
His takeaway from the incident: Stay alert at all times.
"Always be cautious anywhere you go—even to McDonald's," he said.