When staring down the barrel of a robber's gun, most people are only too happy to do what they're told.
But an 80-year-old Salt Lake man foiled an armed robber about 4 p.m. Wednesday simply by telling the gunman he had better things to do than hand over his wallet.Witnesses said the man, who was in the parking garage beneath Little America Motel, had opened the door of his specially equipped station wagon and was lifting his handicapped wife, who was in a wheelchair, into the vehicle. Suddenly, an armed robber approached him and ordered him to turn around and hand over his wallet.
The elderly man looked at the robber and said, "You're kidding, aren't you?"
"No, I'm not," said the robber and he gestured forcefully with his gun.
His victim said, calmly, "I'll have to drop my wife if I'm to get at my wallet and if I do, she will start screaming, and everybody in the motel will hear it. My advice to you is to put that gun away and head for the nearest exit." He then turned his back on the gunman and proceeded to help his wife into the van.
The would-be holdup man took his advice and ran away.
The victim, who asked not to be identified, told the Deseret News Friday he mentioned the incident to a desk clerk as he was leaving the motel. A Salt Lake police detective contacted the victim Friday and told him that a youth matching the gunman's description held up a woman on the street near the motel a short time later Wednesday.
The victim told the Deseret News nothing like this had ever happened to him before, "and I hope it never does for another 80 years."
He described the gunman as about 18 to 20 years old, about 5 feet 8 inches tall and wearing a knitted pullover with two buttons at the top, blue jeans and sneakers.