They say you should never bring a knife to a gunfight. But that’s exactly what this particular Vermont robber did at Mac’s Convenience Store in Rutland County.
As the store clerk was closing up for the night, a guy with a hoodie and a red bandana around his face came in with a knife and ordered the clerk to empty the cash register. That’s when 58-year-old Vietnam vet and store clerk Don Pitaniello pulled his .380 out of his back pocket and told the guy that he’d “better get the **** [choose your favorite four-letter word] out of there.” The would-be robber complied and got the you-know-what out of there. As the hoodied bandit ran off, Pitaniello followed him to see which direction he went so that he could tell the police.
Because of the store’s no tolerance policy toward self-defense, Pitaniello might lose his job. He was suspended earlier this week. Apparently, he broke two of their rules. The first was bringing a gun inside the “gun-free” store; the other was following the robber. According to the Daily Caller:
“That store has been robbed eight or nine times and I always work nights,” [Pitaniello] told the Rutland Herald.
“I’m a firm believer in having a gun and not needing it rather than the other way around. I can always find a new job.”
The attempted robbery represents the second time in a week that an assailant armed with a knife has demanded money from convenience store clerks in Rutland.
A similar incident occurred last Thursday when a man wearing a bandana demanded money from a clerk at another convenience store. That clerk did not have a gun, and the culprit left with an undisclosed amount of money.
Police have not determined if the two incidents are related.
If Pitaniello were allowed to keep his job, I bet you that particular robber wouldn’t be going back to that Mac’s store anytime soon, especially if Pitaniello was the one working the night shift. But a lot of these convenience stores would rather have dead employees and cash stolen from them than run the risk of some petty lawsuit.