Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Ohio: Moving men best would-be robber

East Price Hill, Ohio

From the Cincinnati Enquirer of July 23, 2008
Moving men best would-be robber

One determined store owner. Eleven bulky employees to back him up. And a nervous would-be robber pointing a gun at them.

The result?

A very bad attempt at robbery, said Raymond Palma, 37, owner of D& R Moving.

The botched robbery Wednesday morning sent the alleged robber to the hospital with two self-inflicted gunshot wounds, no money and a charge of aggravated robbery.

“This ought to be on ‘Dumbest Criminals,’ Palma said. “To come into a moving company with men who lift and haul things for a living – 12 guys, five or six bullets. You do the math.”

The robber, identified as Ahmad Parker, 21, of Roselawn, was in surgery at University Hospital Wednesday evening for gunshot wounds to the leg and arm, Cincinnati police said.

Palma said when Parker walked into the business, 465 Elberon Ave., around 9 a.m. and pointed a .380-caliber semiautomatic pistol, demanding everyone empty their pockets, Palma thought he was joking.

“Then he said it again and put the gun right to my head and that’s when I knew he’s not kidding anymore,” Palma said. “But you could just tell he was a rookie. He hesitated for a couple seconds and he didn’t know what the heck he was doing, apparently.”

The handgun’s safety was still on until Parker noticed it halfway through the robbery, Palma said.

He said he waited until Parker turned his head then grabbed the gun. Four employees joined in. During the scuffle, the gun went off several times, striking Parker twice and an employee once.

Employees held Parker down until police arrived.

The employee, William Davis, 31, Palma’s brother, was grazed in the leg and refused medical treatment, police said. Palma suffered minor cuts and scrapes.

“To be honest, I was scared the entire time,” he said. “I don’t recommend anybody doing that because when I did it, I put everybody’s life in there at risk. If it happened again, I don’t think I would handle it that way.”

Palma said it was the first time there has been an attempted robbery at his business and hopes it’s the last. He plans to install security cameras and an ATM to store his money.

“Everybody tells me I shouldn’t, but I feel bad for that young fella,” Palma said. “He’s 21 and he made the worst mistake of his life. I don’t feel angry no more.

“But I’m disappointed and upset.”

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