A Vermont store clerk has been suspended from his job after he drew a gun in self-defense during a robbery.
Don Pitaniello, a 58 year-old Vietnam veteran from Rutland, was closing up shop at Mac’s Convenience Store on Sunday when a man wearing a hoodie and a bandana over his face stormed in wielding a 5-inch knife, the Rutland Herald reports.
“He walked up to the counter, laid the knife on it and said ‘Empty the register,’” Pitaniello told the paper.
“I knew his intentions as soon as he came in,” Pitaniello said. “When he told me to empty the register, I cocked my head and said ‘Really?’”
But Pitaniello had something ready for the man – a .380-caliber handgun hidden behind his back.
The man picked the knife up and waved it in Pitaniello’s face.
Pitaniello replied with words and a pointed gun.
“I told him he better get the (expletive) out of there,” he said.
The would-be robber listened and left.
Though Pitaniello may have saved his own life, he may have lost his job. The Rutland Herald reported that Pitaniello was suspended on Monday.
The store has a policy against bringing firearms to work, he was told. He broke another store rule by following the robber.