There’s an old saying that a gun is only a tool, the man is the weapon. It makes sense when you think about it. A truly dangerous individual will be dangerous no matter what he has on his person, while a truly timid person could have any weapon on the planet and still be a potential victim.
However, a sheriff’s deputy in Florida kind of personified the old saying recently when he took down a bad guy with some cans of beans.
Thursday’s standoff between Sheriff Tommy Ford, Deputy Chief Joel Heape and Maj. Jimmy Stanford and a hammer-wielding man — which began with a call of a gunman and one person down — ended after Stanford snuck behind the suspect in a grocery aisle and hit him in the back with two cans of beans, authorities said Friday.
“I saw Jimmy poke his head out, the next thing I know he steps out with a can of Bush’s extra brown sugar baked beans and hits the suspect in the upper body and distracts him,” Ford said. “And then he does it again and the suspect … Joel was able to deflect his swing and lock his arm up. It was a fight, we were wrestling.”
Justin Tyler Stanford, 25, was charged with assault with a deadly weapon on an officer, resisting arrest with violence, DUI and leaving the scene of an accident with damage, and was set for a bond hearing today. He was taken to the hospital after he was in custody for treatment of injuries in received in a wreck before he showed up at the Rainbow Food Store, 11798 U.S. 231, which is where the 911 calls began pouring in from.
The law enforcement trio was on the way to lunch at Coram’s near County 2301 when calls began coming in, including some that said the man was armed, had fired at least one shot, and that someone had been shot. The sheriff was driving and they continued north and were the first law enforcement officers to arrive. At that time they were expecting a man armed with a gun, so Ford and Heape put on vests and grabbed their rifles while Stanford tried to establish phone communications with the man inside.
The man came out and held his hammer like a gun, then retreated into the store. The officers followed, trying to calm the man down.
When the suspect became agitated again, that’s when Stanford stepped up and began pelting the man with cans of beans, shown in the video below:
The beans apparently had the desired effect, and the suspect was apprehended.
Why the officers didn’t have drawn weapons is beyond me. All three reportedly had rifles and vests handy, so that part is a mystery to me. However, there’s another saying. “If it’s stupid and it works, it ain’t stupid.” Clearly, that’s what happened here. The situation ended with no loss of life, and the man can be prosecuted and/or treated for whatever his damage might happen to be.
In the meantime, I expect Maj. Stanford is about to get a new nickname or three.
What I don’t expect is for him to be “canned” any time soon. (Yes, it’s an awful pun. I regret nothing.)