The Armed Citizen® | Fishermen

posted on March 1, 2017

The lure of unsupervised campers, boats and equipment—or of lone fishermen miles away from the nearest police station—can prove too much for scofflaws looking for an easy payday. But when they choose a target who happens to be armed, as in the eight accounts below, they soon find they’ve opened a can of worms, and won’t be getting off the hook easily!  

After having a tackle box and some fishing poles stolen just weeks before, Clermont, Fla., resident Denton Tussing's anger took over when he was awakened by the sound of somebody trying to start his boat. Grabbing a rifle and rushing to his dock in his underwear, Tussing drew a bead on the would-be thief and demanded, "Hey buddy, step right out of the boat and sit out here ... your___is mine." The whimpering suspect immediately complied and waited for police to come take him away. (The Daily Commercial, Leesburg, Fla., 02/17/95) 

Two fishermen were parked on Roberts Island, Calif., when a trio of men drove up and demanded money. After being thrown to the ground by one of the would-be robbers, one fisherman pulled a revolver and fired it into the air. The culprits fled but were soon collared by sheriff's deputies. (The Record, Stockton, Calif., 03/06/90) 

Richard Phelon was fishing a small stream near his Burlington, Conn., home when he was approached by an armed man who said he wanted money. Phelon went to his car, ostensibly to get his wallet, but turned around with an unloaded shotgun in his hands. The would-be robber and a companion fled. (The Register Citizen, Torrington, Conn., 08/16/88)

A Chula Vista, Calif., couple on a weekend fishing trip along the Mexican border was menaced by a group of 10 men, some armed with knives. When the men split into two groups and circled John Spizale’s camper, he got out his .45 pistol. One of the men pointed at his gun asking, “Bullets?” Spizale replied that the gun was indeed loaded and that he was prepared to use it. The group left, and the Border Patrol said that the gun’s presence probably saved the couple’s lives. (The Star-News, Chula Vista, Calif., 10/30/86)

A proposed fishing trip to their rural Deschutes County, Oreg., vacation property netted Ken Trinklein and Art Daley an unexpected catch. Upon arrival they were faced with a pickup making off with a load of personal belongings. They blocked the getaway with their own vehicle, and while Daley went to summon the sheriff, Trinklein stood guard over a pair of youthful criminals, a .357 Mag. revolver stuck in his belt. (The Bulletin, Bend, Ore., 06/05/83) 

When his wife told him a patient had escaped from the state mental hospital near his Fulton, Mo., farm, Leo Chapman laid down his fishing rod and grabbed his M1 Carbine. Investigating, he found a stranger walking near his barn. Chapman, along with his son Bill, who was armed with a shotgun, held the man, convicted of killing a county sheriff, for the police. (The Daily Tribune, Columbia, Mo., 09/29/81) 

Fortunately for Reuben Flotz, he could see his home near Howe, Ind., while fishing in the Pigeon River. He watched as a stranger drove up, knocked without getting an answer and then entered by slitting a screen door. Flotz hurried over through a back door. He grabbed his rifle and covered the thief, who was about to steal a radio, binoculars and other valuables. Then he tried to phone the police but the phone did not work, so Flotz marched the intruder 200 yds. at gunpoint to a neighbor’s house. (The Goshen News, Goshen, Ind., 11/29/74)

Gerald Boyum, a farmer of Farmington Twp., Minn., returned from a weekend fishing trip to find two rifles, a shotgun and car accessories missing from his home. While he was calling the sheriff, a strange car with two youths drove up. Boyum held the two at shotgun point. Deputies arrived, searched their car, and found the missing firearms in the trunk. (The Post-Bulletin, Rochester, Minn., 11/01/67)


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