It was the highlight of the morning, a viral video of a Belize City artist on a social media live rant after driving off a pair of violent thugs who had robbed and beaten the neighborhood tamales man.

Our team was on the scene shortly after to get the full story from the artist who swung at robbers with wood from an old easel. Cherisse Halsall has the story.

Well, known painter, Alex Sanker went live on Facebook this morning just after he'd chased off a pair of robbers who had thrown a man to the ground in front of his house.

Alex Sanker,Artist
"So anyway I am out here live, you have this tamales boy who pass through here everyday to sell tamales. I am in studio painting, I heard the young man bawling, 2 black boys are beating him and they rob him just now. I came out and I grab a stick from my easel and I lash them up."

Alex Sanker,Artist
"I heard him holler tamales probably a couple feet from here, my understanding that I got now the young men followed him."

"He was robbed, beat up and robbed the god damnedest truth the video that I made of his face was already washed. The neighbor came and gave him a bucket and he washed his face but his whole nose had clogged up the blood. I don't know if his teeth were chipped, his eye was black and blue. I mean the two guys had him on the ground because he was fighting back. You know he had to defend himself. And so when I went out there and I was like what's going on here, one of them wanted to tell me well I can't use the language but anyway I was like oh okay so I ran back in the yard and grabbed one of my easels's the one that's fouled up and I did what I had to do."

You might know Sanker from his Albert Street exhibitions. And he's been in the news recently as the artist behind the portrait of COVID victim Luis Romero. And while the artist has always claimed to be a patriot today he proved his love for his fellow Belizean:

Alex Sanker, Artist
"Everybody knows my work. I always bring the truth through my work and for me to be here this morning and see what's going on. I didn't wake up for this, I don't need any problems in my life. I love my life. I do what I do but at the same time don't get it twisted. I'll do what I do for my fallen brother and I'm gonna repeat this very clear I did not regret for one minute the overwhelming support right now, people Alex be careful, this whatever, You know what's funny brother I've lived my life saying we can't live in a country where you are living basically in a prison."

"I was doing this painting showing God bless our country, Corona is real, you have a coffin that's telling Belizeans listen this thing is real so for me to be painting this. I would be a hypocrite to look through that window and let that happen. I know that guy like a family member every day with Tamales, Tamales I had to do something not regret with what I did this morning."

And while Sanker has no regrets the Tamales vendor, Abelardo Gonalez is full of gratitude.

Abelardo Gonzalez, Victim of Robbery
"When I was going they grabbed me from behind, and they hit me. He attacked the two of them with a stick. They've already captured them."

Cherisse Halsall:
"If you could say something to the artist, what would you say?"

Abelardo Gonzalez, Victim of Robbery
"I'd say thanks so much for the help and like I said there are still good people here in Belize."

Alex Sanker, Artist
"Don't get me wrong I'm not superman, I'm not a hero all I did was help a fallen brother, this man sells his tamales every day comes way from Corozal, my understanding, and his days are riding around in the sun hot selling his little tamales then you guys want to rob him, cho man."

Police responded almost instantly and have detained two suspects - one of whom promptly escaped. And while it's now a police matter, we had to ask whether Sanker's frightened by the robbers' threats to return.

Alex Sanker, Artist
"I've been taking precautions before this, this country is dangerous right now, that's not coming from me it's about the action that's happening everyday so my thing is at the end of the day like I said of course i'm gonna take precautions, it's on a personal level what i'm gonna do to do that but of course no, I will defend, no this right here and me i'll defend this with everything I have left."

And how much did they get off with? A mere $20, we are told.

Two suspects were captured shortly after the incident but one of them has since escaped custody and is being sought. Police spotted them because they walked with a limp. They are from the area.

Channel 7

We are living in a society where if it doesn't affect you directly we don't give a f*** I did not get up this morning to get into no problem but when problem come to your door and when one of your fellow belizean Brothers getting beat down n getting robbed of his money then Alex will do what come natural and that is 2 help a fallen brother this country is in Crisis I have countless paintings that depict what's going on until we choose to look out for one another things just going to get worse I had no regret what just happened I had always leave my life trusting in God's hand and I'll continue to do so unite belizean no or never

Commissioner of Police expressed appreciation to Alex Sanker for intervening in a robbery of a tamales vendor yesterday.

The Belize Police Department take this opportunity to thank Mr Sanker for his act of bravery in defending and maybe even saving the life of the tamales man who was being robbed today.

Mr Sanker act is a demonstration of bravery, selfless and patriotism. As a society we must stand together in unison against those who threatened our peaceful way of life. It is only by so doing that we will transfer the fear of crime from the broader citizenry to the minority who strive by instilling fear in our law abiding populace.

We are fully aware of the threat placed in Mr Sanker resulting from his action today. As a department we are not taking the threat likely and will not sit idle by while those intending to carry out their threat are planning. I therefore plan of proving some level of security to Mr Sanker and his family and I will be meeting with him tomorrow morning to further discuss what can be done to ensure his safety.

Thank you Sir and may the peace of the lord be with you always and may our lord continue to strengthen you and protect you from those who may seek to detract you from carrying out his plans.