A Pennsylvania man somehow used a fake gun to thwart a very real robbery.
According to reports, 42-year-old James Hayes of Ambridge, Pa., entered Moh’s Market at about 3:45 a.m. and then pointed a gun at the clerk. The clerk responded by drawing his own gun – a fake pellet gun.
It was more than enough to scare away the intruder. Hayes fled the scene, but police were eventually able to catch up to him a short time later when a woman notified police that a man with a gun had just run into her apartment. In retrospect, that probably was not the best hiding spot.
Interim police Chief James Mann says Hayes "is one of the world's dumbest, and luckiest to be alive, criminals." That’s an odd statement to make considering the fact that the only time when Hayes was in danger was when the police apprehended him. Before that, Hayes had faced a plastic gun and a lone woman.
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The truly lucky person in this story is the store clerk. It is fortunate that the would-be thief decided to run instead of gunning down the clerk. If the thief had decided to escalate the encounter, then there is not much that a pellet gun would have been able to do against a real firearm.
Perhaps this encounter will persuade the clerk to upgrade from the plastic model to a real firearm. Pennsylvania gun laws are not so restrictive that a late-night store clerk would not be able to carry a firearm on the job, so the only things stopping the clerk from carrying a real gun would be personal preference or restrictions from the boss.
What do you think about the clerk’s actions? Is pulling a fake gun on an armed robber asking to get shot, or is that kind of bluff the best course of action in a life or death situation?