Mike's Horseshoe Bar and Grill

A man standing outside Mike's Horseshoe Bar and Grill might have prevented an armed robbery when he saw two men, one armed with a gun, lurking nearby. The two fled when they saw the man.

A man outside an East Side tavern Tuesday night could be responsible for two young men giving up the idea of committing an armed robbery.

It happened around 9:10 p.m. behind Mike's Horseshoe Bar and Grill, 3900 Dempsey Road, Madison police said.

The unidentified man was behind the tavern when he saw the two men, one wearing a mask and hood, the other with his hood up.

"Both were clad in black, and one appeared to be carrying a handgun," said police spokesman Joel DeSpain.

"The two young men must have realized a witness was watching them, because they took off running into some nearby woods."

Officers and police dog Bowie went to the area to establish a perimeter, with Bowie picking up a trail.

"He led his human counterparts to a a fenced-in backyard on Claire Street," DeSpain said. "A bag containing a loaded handgun was recovered."

The gun had been stolen a couple of years ago in Dane County.

The suspects were not located, and no description of the suspects was given.

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