Police in Springfield, Massachusetts, arrested a man Wednesday who tried to rob a local convenience store with a fake firearm after the clerk used his real gun to thwart the suspect and detain him until officers arrived on scene.
While the clerk was doing work behind the counter, 20-year-old Fernell Pelzer ran into the store along with other two other men. Pelzer confronted the clerk and tried pistol-whipping him with his fake firearm.
“They put it on my mouth, and I actually have a little cut on my lip,” the clerk told ABC40. “They were over to my right so I fought them off a little bit and got time to reach for my firearm.”
Once Pelzer pulled his lawfully owned handgun, the three men fled bumbling and stumbling out the door. The clerk, who asked not to be identified, grabbed Pelzer off the ground and held him at gunpoint until police arrived.
“He tell me please don’t shoot him,” said the clerk. “I said I’m not going to shoot you. I’m just waiting for the cops to get here and that’s what I did.”
Although he was alarmed by the whole ordeal, the clerk was pleased he didn’t have to use deadly force.
“I’m happy to see that I didn’t get hurt and I didn’t intend to hurt him either,” said the clerk. “Wish I knew what his intentions. Right now I’m happy the way it ended up.”
Police charged Pelzer with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon along with armed robbery. He now faces 15 years to life in prison if he is convicted.