When the young female clerk at a used bookstore in Iowa was confronted recently with a robber armed with a can of pepper spray, she reacted in a way she never thought she would have to. In short, when the man came a-knocking, her Springfield XD said, "No soliciting."
(Fort Dodge, IA, doesnt it look like a nice place? Photo credit: Wiki)
Fort Dodge, Iowa, located in Webster County, is a quiet little town of about 25,000. They still have a traditional downtown area, a small zoo with a nice population of albino deer, and several golf courses. Called sometimes, the "Birthplace of Drywall," Fort Dodge is home to several plants that produce gypsum wallboard, which was invented and patented by a resident of the town decades ago.
All in all, pretty normal slice of Middle America. However, crime likes Middle American just as much as anywhere else as the good people at Discount Textbooks found out last week.
When bookstore employee Jessica McDonald, 22, opened up Wednesday morning, May 21, it seemed like it was just another quiet day. I mean think about it. It is a bookstore. In Iowa.
Then just after 9am, a man walked in, coughing and covering his face with a bandana. Then as he got closer to the counter, he pulled out a can of pepper spray and shoved it into Jessica's face.
(McDonald behind the counter at Discount Books. Photo credit: KCCI)
"We were face to face, and then he, like, put the mace right in my face and said, 'Give me all the money out of your register,'" McDonald said.
She showed the robber her empty cash drawer (its a book store, in Iowa, at 9am on a Wednesday morning), however the man, described as a 50-60 year old white male with grey facial hair, was not sated.
Then, when he was distracted by the ringing phone, Jessica reached into the Discount Textbook's safe and pulled out the store's Springfield XDs .40S&W, and started to back away from the robber, with the pistol pointed in his direction.
(The Springfield XDS at the heart of the story. Yes, she is 'tea-cupping" her grip, and Yes, she is in pretty big violation of proper trigger discipline. However, she was able to take pretty good care of herself when the time came and refused to be a victim. Photo credit: KCCI)
This was a sound tactical move on Jessica's part as she helped expand the reactionary gap between her and the bad guy, while also getting further away from the effective range of his chemical projector.
What happened next?
Well, it turns out the would-be armed robber was not prepared for the escalation from pepper to pistol by Ms. McDonald and promptly fled on foot. Chased by the now Springfield-armed clerk from the store and into the parking lot, he was last seen fleeing the scene on a black bicycle, his loot bag empty.
The gun in question is owned by the store's manager but is left on site for the potential use of all of the store's employees if needed, which in this case seems to have worked out well.
"Anything could happen had we not had that firearm in that store and she did not have access to it," Paul Tigges, the store's manager, said. "We'll never know what might have happened."
McDonald said she was surprised initially when she learned the gun was there.
"It was shocking to me when I started here that there is a gun and I always thought it was over the top and we didn't need it, but I'm very glad that we have it," she said.
So with that in mind, if you are ever in Fort Dodge and need a discounted textbook, stop on by. But leave the pepper spray at home.