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Gun-Toting Customer Saves the Day After Suspect Wields Contaminated Needle

A suspect seemed to be "getting the best of" store security officers, so a citizen licensed to carry a concealed weapon pulled out his pistol and ordered the man to drop the dirty needle and syringe and lay on the ground.

Joshua J. Silva, 26, is being held in the Macomb County Jail after he allegedly attacked a store security guard with a contaminated hypodermic needle. (Photo: Roseville Police Department)
Joshua J. Silva, 26, is being held in the Macomb County Jail after he allegedly attacked a store security guard with a contaminated hypodermic needle. (Photo: Roseville Police Department)

Say what you might about Michigan’s concealed weapons law.

An armed customer at a Home Depot in Macomb County stopped an alleged shoplifter from slashing a security guard with a contaminated needle and syringe, the Detroit Free Press reports.

Joshua J. Silva, 26, was arrested Monday night in the parking lot outside the Roseville Home Depot store after the Good Samaritan, who has not been identified, intervened in the scuffle between Silva and loss-prevention officers, who reportedly saw Silva conceal a $179 battery-powered drill under his coat.

Silva stabbed one of the officers at least five times before the other customer saw what was happening, pulled out his pistol (which he is legally licensed to carry), and told Silva to drop the syringe and get on the ground.

Silva complied, but tried to escape when he heard the approaching police sirens. The security officers allowed him to flee, and Roseville police apprehended him without incident.

Roseville Police Chief James Berlin said the citizen intervened because the Silva seemed to “be getting the best of” store security and he was afraid one of the officers might be killed, the newspaper said.

Silva was arraigned Tuesday in 39th District Court in Roseville on charges of second-degree retail fraud, a one-year misdemeanor; and assault with intent to do great bodily harm, a 10-year felony. He is being held in the Macomb County Jail on $25,000 bond.

Silva reportedly told police that he is addicted to heroin, but police said there was no indication he was high at the time of the assault.

The syringe, which had some residue on it, will be tested at the Michigan State Police crime lab to determine if the security officer who was punctured was exposed to any communicable diseases. Police are also seeking a search warrant allowing them to test Silva for infectious diseases.
robert g March 26, 2014 at 06:01 AM
Thank you again NRA for protecting the rights of the law abiding.

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