An armed customer wasn’t quick enough to prevent alleged transient junkie Joshua Silva, above, from sticking a Home Depot loss prevention employee in the hand with a dirty needle, but the un-named Samaritan didn’t even have to fire a shot to stop the attack.
From the Detroit Free Press:
Roseville Police Chief James Berlin said that Silva claimed he is addicted to heroin, but it is not believed he was on the drug at the time of the assault.
Berlin said Silva began to fight with store loss prevention officers in the parking lot when they tried to apprehend him for stuffing a $179 battery-powered drill under his coat. Silva pulled a concealed syringe from his jacket and used it as a weapon, swinging it around in a slashing motion, police said.
They said he stabbed one of the officers several times with the contaminated needle. Berlin said the victim had more than five puncture wounds on the top of his hand.
A customer with a concealed pistol license saw the fight, pulled out his handgun and told Silva to drop the syringe and get on the ground. Silva stopped fighting and sat down in the parking lot, police said, but jumped up and ran when he heard approaching police sirens. The loss prevention officers allowed him to run and police officers arrested him without further incident.
Silva is being held on $25,000 bail, and faces 10 years in prison for retail fraud and Assault With Intent To Do Great Bodily Harm.
It’s too bad he wasn’t a few seconds quicker, but drawing your gun too quickly in a DGU can buy you just as many regrets as drawing it too late. Particularly if you’re intervening on behalf of a stranger.
LEOs have learned to be exceptionally careful when dealing with ‘sharps’ such as hypodermics. Knife wounds can certainly cause nasty infections, but syringes are purpose-built to deliver their cargo of drugs (or bacteria, or viruses) deep beneath the skin. Some infections are curable; others are not.
So lets add ‘junkies with syringes’ to the list of reasons to remember the 21-foot rule.