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Fight Or Flight For Business Owners Confronting Violence

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By Michael Pope

What would you do if the man next to you at the karaoke bar lifted his shirt and you saw a firearm? That's what happened at the King Street bar Rock-It-Grill in Alexandria, Virginia, where a bouncer wrestled a gun from the waistband of a patron before the cops were called.

"It would probably be difficult for me if I was off duty or something and something like that happened," says Lieutenant Jack Compton. "But it's better to be safe than sorry."

Police say business owners and their employees should exercise restraint. A few blocks from the grill, a hobby shop employee was cut when he tried to wrestle a knife away from a robber.

"Never ever ever confront an assailant," says Frank Kozuch, owner of Whistle Stop Hobbies in Alexandria. "Never have a physical contact with them. Try to stay as far away as possible. Give them what they want. And if, available, push a panic button and that way the police will hopefully respond in three or four minutes."

Police say if you feel someone is about to cause you serious physical harm, you should fight for your life and use whatever means you have at your disposal.

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