Jan 24 2015

Vigilante Attacks Legal Gun Owner, Gets Arrested

Wal-Mart seems to be a never-ending setting for “guy with a gun” stories gone wrong. In this instance, a Florida man saw a legal gun owner and decided to take action by tackling him and putting him in a chokehold.

The plot unfolded when 62-year-old Clarence Daniels went to Wal-Mart to purchase coffee creamer for his wife. Before entering the store, he put his gun in his hip holster under his coat. He was spotted by Michael Foster, 43, who leapt into vigilante action. As soon as Daniels crossed the threshold into the store, Foster tackled him to the ground.

According to witness reports, Foster yelled at onlookers that Daniels had a gun. Daniels shouted back that he had a permit, but his pleas went ignored. The men struggled on the ground until other shoppers separated them and waited for the police. Foster was arrested and charged with battery. The altercation was captured on security video, which can be viewed above.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office has released a statement asking concerned citizens to call the police when they see someone with a gun, rather than trying to take action themselves. Police have a reputation for shooting first and asking questions later, such as when Ohio police shot a man who was holding a BB/pellet rifle last summer. A number of similar stories have surfaced, which certainly makes a poor argument for calling the police first. However, Foster is incredibly lucky that he wasn’t harmed during the incident.

“Unfortunately he tackled a guy that was a law-abiding citizen,” sheriff spokesperson Larry McKinnon told local reporters. “We understand it’s alarming for people to see other people with guns, but Florida has a large population of concealed weapons permit holders.”

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