Here’s something else that can’t be accomplished by having “gun-free zone” or any other kind of “crime-free” signs posted on the premises of a business. In this case, a “dirty syringe-free” zone wouldn’t have helped either.
Thanks to a concealed carry holder in a Home Depot in Michigan, a heroin addict armed with a used syringe is behind bars after trying to steal a battery-powered drill. The Detroit Free Press reported:
Joshua J. Silva, 26, was arrested a short time after the incident Monday night at the Home Depot at 13 Mile and Little Mack.
Silva was ordered held in the Macomb County Jail on $25,000 bond after being arraigned today on second-degree retail fraud, a one-year misdemeanor, and assault with intent to do great bodily harm, a 10-year felony. A preliminary exam is set for April 2 in 39th District Court in Roseville.
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.
The citizen told police he got involved because the suspect was so violent and appeared to “be getting the best of” the loss prevention officers. He said he feared if he didn’t get involved, the suspect was going to kill one of the store officers, police said.
The wounded loss prevention officer was treated at a local hospital. Neither he nor the good Samaritan was interested in a media interview, Berlin said.
He said the syringe had some residue in it. It is to be tested later today by the Michigan State Police crime lab for any signs of communicable disease.
Police also will be seeking a search warrant to have Silva tested for any infectious disease that could have been transmitted to the loss prevention officer.
Berlin said Silva had a prior retail fraud conviction and drug arrests. He said it happens that people try to use syringes as weapons, but it is not a common occurrence.
Berlin said the good Samaritan, who told police he wished to remain anonymous, will be put in for a citizen’s citation.
The police were grateful that there was someone there carrying a concealed gun. And I’m sure that gun owner was glad he had it as well. This is typically how these sorts of incidents play out when someone around has a concealed weapon to stop a violent criminal.