Re-posted, with photographs, link, and information added by Nicholas Stix
Cops are increasingly being ordered to approach dangerous suspects without drawing their service weapons. The motivation behind such brave new practices is to get white cops killed, and the practices are already bearing fruit.
February 17, 2016
Martin County Crime
Deputy walks into armed robbery at Stuart gas station | Videos
Off-duty MCSO Deputy Matthew Fritchie talks about Chevron robbery
By Will Greenlee and Elliott Jones
Feb. 18, 2016
MARTIN COUNTY — If not for Deputy Matthew Fritchie making a quick stop to pick up some sunflower seeds Wednesday evening, events at the Chevron gas station might have turned out different.
As he drove up in his patrol car, parked and entered the store, a potentially deadly encounter was in progress: An accused robber was trying to hold up clerks with a gun.
“They were in complete fear,” said Fritchie of the clerks. “Their eyes were just huge.”
Fritchie, a 17-year Martin County Sheriff’s Office veteran, spoke Thursday about the incident that ended with the arrest of Domenique Pierce, 24, of North Carolina, on an armed robbery charge.
Fritchie, 36, stopped at a Chevron on Lost River Road about 10:30 p.m. with a probation officer. They were about to start making checks to ensure probationers were following the terms of their release.
“I went to the store to get some sunflower seeds ... and walked in on a robbery,” Fritchie said.
He noticed the two clerks who appeared fearful and a man in a hoodie. It was cold, Fritchie said, and not unusual for a person to don a hoodie. He knew something wasn’t right when the man turned around and had a brown mask over his face.
“I think I startled him; he stopped,” Fritchie said. “I drew my service weapon and confronted the gentleman and asked what was going on.
He didn’t respond.”
He said the clerks told him the man tried to rob them.
Fritchie stopped the man, asking whether he had a firearm.
“He said it was fake,” Fritchie said. “I then approached him even closer and said ‘if you grab it, I will kill you.’”
Fritchie said the incident happened quickly, and he reverted to his training.
“I was presented a situation and I approached it in a tactical manner to overtake the situation, and it was done and over by the time I realized actually what occurred,” he said.
Fritchie said the gun closely resembled a Glock pistol.
Sheriff William Snyder said Fritchie’s action demonstrate how to properly handle a situation in an era that is “very trying” for law enforcement officers.
“There’s a narrative in our country today that goes something like this: trigger-happy cops shooting unarmed people,” he said.
In this case, he added, an armed deputy encountered what he believed was an armed suspect, and took him into custody without firing his firearm. Snyder said this illustrates how the vast majority of law enforcement professionals act.
“They’re trained to put their safety second,” Snyder said. “He clearly did that.”
As for the sunflower seeds, Snyder presented a bag to Fritchie on Thursday morning.
About Will Greenlee
Will Greenlee is a breaking news reporter for Treasure Coast Newspapers. He has been working here since 1997, and is based in Stuart.
About Elliott Jones
Elliott Jones is a multimedia journalist for Treasure Coast Newspapers and TCPalm.com.