so I punched him

Something reminded me of a case I dealt with a number of years ago.

It started as a fairly bog standard shoplifting that occurred around Christmas time.  During the first incident, the offender took a bottle of whiskey and some beers from a Tesco.  The store guard tried to stop him and from that point things got bizarre.  The offender pulled a gun and threatened to kill the guard.  Unsurprisingly, the guard stepped back and let the man go.

The next day at the same time the same man went into the same Tesco and stole the same items.  He was seen by the same security guard who called for help from staff and the police.  As the man left the store again the security guard - still alone - bravely told him to stop.  Again the offender pulled a gun and pointed it to the guard's head.  I've always remembered the next words in the guard's statement to the police.  He said, "I was terrified.  I didn't know what to do, so I punched him in the face."  The thief/gunman promptly handed over his gun and sat on the floor crying until officers arrived to arrest him.

I met the man months later by which time he'd pleaded guilty, got a number of years imprisonment and had decided to wipe the slate clean by confessing and being sentenced for a number of offences that the police hadn't known he was involved in before.  All I remember thinking was that I wouldn't have tried to punch this man even if he'd been unarmed.  He had to be 6'6" tall and very powerfully built.

All respect to that brave guard and I hope this Christmas is less eventful for him.


  1. Kudos to the security guard! He was probably pissed off for the second time! I think he thought it was his responsibility to prevent the crime from happening. The shoplifter would've come back again and again if the guard didn't do something about it.


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