Don’t mess with Fred Price. This 73-year-old Michigan store clerk might not look like much of a threat, but this fearless gun owner has foiled two different armed robberies.
The most recent incident occurred just last Monday, when a 49-year-old Deerfield Township man stumbled into the Venture Corners convenience store and demanded beer.
“It was just a drunk man who came in and who had what appeared to be a regular gun,” Price recalled.
From Price’s point of view, the man was obviously plastered, so Price told him to “get the hell out.” The drunk man refused, showed off the gun that was in his waistband, and demanded some booze. Price described the event: “He went back on my porch and was sitting there with what I thought was a real gun. I called the police before that to let them know a man in the store had a gun. I pulled my gun.”
Price ordered the man to get to the floor, but he didn’t comply. Luckily for the inebriated man, Price refrained from shooting long enough for Sheriff Bob Bezotte to arrive on the scene. Bezotte promptly arrested the drunk man. The gun, which Price initially thought was a 9mm handgun, turned out to be a BB gun. In retrospect, that’s probably why the drunk never took the pistol out of his waistband – the orange tip would have given away the ruse.
The man was thrown in jail and charged with disorderly conduct and trespassing. A breath test determined that his blood alcohol content was 0.27, more than three times the legal driving limit.
The drunk man probably could have spared himself a lot of grief if he had spoken to the last man who tried to rob Price. About three years ago, a masked man forced his way into Venture Corners, pointed a gun at Price, and demanded money. The old-timer knocked the gun to the ground (which turned out to be a starter pistol), and then produced a weapon of his own. Price’s weapon, on the other hand, was the real deal. The would-be thief bolted as soon as Price drew his weapon. Price fired at the fleeing suspect, striking the suspect’s car as he drove off. The man was later arrested and convicted.
Will some foolhardy thief in Michigan give Price an opportunity to bag a hat trick? Or has Price sufficiently proven to local criminals that he’s not the type to be trifled with? At the very least, these cases should prove to criminals that bringing a BB gun or a starter pistol to a crime is just about the dumbest thing on Earth. On the bright side, at least there’s a chance that the gun owner will have mercy on you. As soon as you point a weapon at a gun owner (whether it be real or fake), you can expect a hail of gunfire in return.