Vermont Clerk Who Defended Himself From An Armed Robber Will Likely Be Fired

Surveillance footage of the knife-wielding robber.
Surveillance footage of the alleged robber.

A convenience store clerk in Rutland, Vermont pulled a .380 pistol in response to an armed robber pulling a knife on him, and will likely be fired for carrying a handgun on company property.

Frankly, Don Pitaniello doesn’t seem to mind his potential firing all that much. It seems that he’d rather be armed and alive and looking for a new job that be just another potential victim:

“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?'”

At that point, the clerk said the man picked up the knife and “waved it in my face.”

Pitaniello said he responded by raising his gun and pointing it at the other man’s face.

“I told him he better get the (expletive) out of there,” he said.

Without a word, the intruder fled the store on foot and Pitaniello said he followed far enough to see the man running west on North Street.

During the brief exchange, Pitaniello said he prevented a robbery but violated several of his store’s policies, including a prohibition on bringing firearms to work and following an armed robber from the store.

Pitaniello said the incident could cost him his job but he doesn’t regret his actions.

“That store has been robbed eight or nine times and I always work nights,” he said. I’m a firm believer in having a gun and not needing it rather than the other way around. I can always find a new job.”

Mac’s Convenience at 145 N. Main Street in Rutland, Vermont has every legal right to terminate employees who violate their corporate policies, just as gun owners in Rutland have every right to inform the store’s owner that they will be shopping elsewhere if they so desire.

Isn’t liberty grand?