During a morning of errands with my daughter in early July 2006, when she was two and a half years old, I had to stop at our local convenience store for gasoline and a cold drink. I pulled up to the gas pump and filled the tank.
After topping off, I pulled into a spot near the end of the front walkway of the store, and got my daughter out of her car seat. We went inside, greeted the store clerk, the 50-ish store manager who knew both my daughter and me, and started to shop. We hit the snack aisle, and went back to the cooler for cold drinks.
I pulled a bottle of water out of the cooler when I heard the door chime. I looked to see a pair of males enter the store. One of the pair was over 6 feet tall, and must have weighed in at a solid 400 pounds. His sidekick was about 5´9˝, and might have weighed 155 pounds. The clerk told them they weren’t supposed to be in the store. The larger one started cussing her, dropping F-bombs and B-bombs, and some other nasty things.
I didn’t want to step in for obvious reasons. I am 6´4˝ and weigh 270 pounds. But, there were two of them, and I had my daughter with me. No threats had been made, just what I call trash talk. Then the clerk told them to leave, or she was going to call 911. The larger one told her if she touched the phone he was going to, “Break her F-ing neck.”
I moved my daughter behind me, and called 911 on my cell, being as quiet as I could. I gave the store location, a description of everyone to the operator and stressed to her that I had my daughter with me. I remained on the line with her, but I slipped my still-connected cell into my pocket. Then my daughter who had been quiet thus far started crying, and that attracted the attention of the pair of thugs at the front of the store.
The big one started walking over to me swinging his arm, doing the “ghetto bop” walk. He stopped about 10 feet from us. “What ‘choo lookin’ at boy? I said… What ‘choo lookin’ at you mother F-er? You wants you a beat down?”
I told him in a reasonable tone that I had only stopped for a soda, and had no problem, but he might want to leave because the store had cameras all over the place. I was doing all I could to end this without confrontation. My daughter was shielded by my body, but I couldn’t see any way this would end well if he attacked.
“Every one of y’all mother F-ers will be dead, before da police shows up.” He said as he stepped toward me with his thumb and forefinger out like a toy gun, as if he had a pistol under his shirt and was trying to “show out” that he was armed.
As soon as he made the step in our direction, I threw the bottle of water at him with my left hand, and drew my Glock 30, and leveled it at the center of his chest. I pushed my daughter as far behind me as I could with my empty left hand, and moved my left hand to the grip of my pistol. I mean it just seemed to take a quarter of a second from the time he started toward us until my pistol was aimed at his pump station.
I cussed this time… “Don’t you take one more F-ing step closer. I don’t want trouble, but you are not going to hurt anyone in here.”
He turned into a blubbering wet dishrag when he saw my .45 leveled at his chest. He went from ghetto-tough-guy to a whimpering mess in about half a second. His partner had turned and run quickly from the store.
I ordered him to lie down on the floor while I got my cell phone out of my pocket. The dispatcher was saying “Sir…Sir…Sir…” until I started to speak. I told her we had been threatened, and that I had drawn my weapon, and gave her another description of myself, and my daughter, and told her I would holster my weapon as soon as officers arrived. I asked if the officers would chirp their siren as they came into the parking lot, as I couldn’t see the front window clearly from where I was standing at the back corner of the store.
Within a minute, I heard the chirp of the siren, and as soon as the door to the store opened and I saw an officer, I holstered my Glock, and put my hands up. All I wanted to do was hold my daughter.
The first officer came in, and covered us both, until his partner could handcuff the thug on the floor. He was found to be carrying a .25 ACP. I let the officer know where my pistol was. He relieved me of my Glock, and asked if I had another weapon. I told him about my .38 snubby in my left front trouser pocket, and he simply told me not to reach into that pocket.
I complied and asked him if I could pick up my daughter. He nodded, and I held her while another officer took statements.
The security tape (with audio) was reviewed, and corroborated everything in my statement. I was given my Glock back. And the thug was hauled off to jail on outstanding felony warrants, and new charges.
The first officer asked me what I did for a living. I told him I was retired, and a substitute teacher. He looked at me curiously and asked, “Retired? You’re only 43?”
“I was a cop for 21 years.”