Any Weapon that Comes to Hand

It would probably have been a lot easier for Anthony Brisbane to deal with Trevor Pufall (mugshot left) if he were one of the many Floridians licensed to carry a gun, but instead he found himself in the fight of his life with just the objects he could get his hands on in his workplace: Captain Steamer’s Oyster Bar in Daytona Beach.

As WeaponsMen, we urge the carrying of weapons at all times. But if you haven’t got one for whatever reason, found or improvised weapons may be the difference between going home to watch the news and having the chalk outline of where you came to rest appear on the news. Mr Brisbane faced just that choice — and survived.

Now, we’re willing to stipulate that Daytona is a slightly weird place. There’s the whole NASCAR thing, the swarms of students both native and transient. the gated golf communities, the folks at nearby Spruce Creek where the house has a garage for the three cars and a hangar for the two planes. A slice of American life. But it just doesn’t get weirder than Brisbane’s story, as several local news outlets retold  it.

We’ll quote from the News-Journal’s story by Lyda Longa, which seems to be the source for the broadcast reports that displayed such headline-writing imagination.

Anthony Brisbane was working at Captain Steamer’s Oyster Bar at 5:20 a.m. when he heard a thud, police said.

Arming himself with a sword that has a broken handle, Brisbane walked out into the dimly lit kitchen area of the eatery at 1500 S. Atlantic Ave., and saw a masked man standing in the shadows of the kitchen, police said.

The employee asked the suspect what he was doing there and the suspect — identified as 29-year-old Trevor Pufall — replied with: “Don’t kill me. Don’t kill me,” an arrest report shows.

When Brisbane noticed that the suspect had a tire iron in his hand, he pressed the sword into the suspect’s stomach, police said.

Still holding the sword against Pufall’s abdomen, Brisbane called 9-1-1, police said. Pufall begged Brisbane to put the phone down and offered him money, police said. The suspect then struck Brisbane three times on the head, police said.

Pufall then dropped his tire iron and he and Brisbane fought over the sword. Brisbane dropped the sword after getting cut. He then shoved Pufall to the floor and slammed a beer bottle into the suspect’s head, police said.

Brisbane then grabbed a screwdriver, pointed it at Pufall’s neck and walked him outside to the front of the restaurant. By then, police had arrived on scene, the report shows.

Now, there’s a creative use of found objects as weapons… a sword that must have been part of the restaurant’s tacky pirate decor, a beer bottle, and a screwdriver, against a criminal armed with a tire iron. Not to mention a pretty good spirit of never-give-up on the part of Anthony Brisbane, who got whacked three times upside the head with a tire iron, and cut with the sword, but still delivered his burglar up to justice. We sure hope that Captain Steamer puts a little something extra in Anthony’s pay packet this week.

The bizarre thing here is that Pufall is charged only with burglary. Looks to us he ought to face the music for a violent, armed assault as well. As it is, he’ll be back out committing more crimes soon.

An outcome that might not have obtained, had Brisbane had a revolver. Not to mention, Brisbane’s situation also shows the weakness of relying on found weapons for self-defense: he did keep himself alive until the cops came, despite Pufall’s energetic efforts to kill him, but he suffered non-trivial injuries in the process. That’s the nature of combat with edged or blunt force weapons: you are by definition within range of the opponent’s edged or blunt force weapons. QED.

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