Gunfight at the Motorcycle Shop

I have always figured that I would never shoot anyone. I am not a soldier or policeman. I can shoot, and I am a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association (NRA). I own 30 or more rifles, shotguns and pistols.

I have a concealed pistol permit that I have had for 30 years. I go to the gun range on a regular basis to maintain and improve my shooting skills. I carry a Smith & Wesson (S&W) snub nosed .357 Magnum five shot revolver that I keep loaded with .38 Special soft nosed bullets.

The .38s are strong enough and shooting .357s in the light weight S&W “Air Lite PD” .357 Magnum is fun, but it always winds up hurting my hand! The Air Lite is a “hammerless” revolver so you can’t cock it to allow the first shot to be clean of trigger pull movement.

I load .38s for accuracy – even with the one inch barrel. This gun is made for close encounter fights not for 30 feet duels where it all depends on who is the best shot when someone is shooting back at you.

I was 75 years old when this happened 6 years ago. I was driving to the Westside Honda Motorcycle shop which is located west of Spokane on the service road which parallels I-90 on the south side. I was driving my 2008 Chevy Impala when I turned East on the service road.

A slow driving Subaru SUV was ahead of me going 8 to 10 miles an hour. The limit on that road was probably 30 MPH so I started to go around him. Wow! He suddenly zoomed ahead and cut me off.

I wondered, “Where did that come from?” I pulled behind him and he slowed down to 4 MPH. I realized what was happening and I stomped the foot feed and swung into the left lane again.

He cut me off again and I drove off the road into the short grass and passed him. It was about one half mile to the first driveway and another 200 yards to the entrance driveway where I turned in to the parking lot on the north side of the Motorcycle shop.

I parked next to a Ford pickup, put my S&W Air Lite in my back pocket and started towards the entrance to the shop where I planned to buy a new helmet if our slow driving friend would let me.

There was 35 feet of clearance between a row of parked cars and the main entrance to the shop as I was walking to the shop. The Subaru pulled next to the entrance and a big guy got out and headed towards me.

I am an ex-football player about 195LBS with lots of muscle and plenty of fights in my life. If I was 45 or 50 instead of 75 this would have been a fist fight. I wish that was what happened because I was ready to hit that asshole who ran me off the road for no reason.

Typical Bully

He was about 6 feet 2 inches, around 220 LBS, and just the kind of bully that I have tangled with in the past. He was swinging his arms, pounding his fists into his palms, and walking fast towards me.

I don’t think he was ready for me to be walking towards him and when I pulled the pistol out of my back pocket. His eyes got big. I’m thinking, “be calm, acquire a good target, and put two in his chest”.

He slammed on the brakes, looked carefully, then turned around and ran to the shop doors and inside the shop. I thought about going in after him, but I was there with a gun in my hand and a car behind me.

So, I got in the Impala, drove out the exit driveway, and called the police to report what had just happened. I asked them to meet me at my office which was 7 or 8 miles away. Then I called Gary, my best friend, and asked him to come to my office too.

The Spokane City Police got there 3 minutes after me and we met in my conference room. Gary got there 4 minutes later and he observed as a witness for me. I hoped to avoid arrest and I wanted Gary to be able to testify for me.

All of this happened on a Sunday so the office was empty except for two cops, Gary, and me. It actually was fun. The cops had already got a report from the County Sheriff’s Deputies who had interviewed the Shop employees who gave a true report to them.

The guy told everyone that I had pointed a gun at him for no reason and that I was the aggressor in the fight. That might have worked for him except that there was a video that showed everything. Plus, there was an employee outside the shop who saw everything and told the same story as I did.

We asked for a copy of the video, but the shop owner was worried about his liability and he would not let me watch it or give me a copy. The police got a copy, but they would not give me a copy either. OK, they did not arrest me and that was good.

That was almost the end of that story until three months later when Gary and I left the same motorcycle shop riding our 1000cc Kawasaki motor cycles and zipped out the service road, turned right towards I-90 and zoomed onto the on-ramp.

I was a little ahead of Gary and we both hit it lickety-split on the on ramp. I saw nothing and I was going over 100MPH when I zoomed around a semi and quickly got to 125MPH or 135MPH when I saw Red and Blue Lights in the mirror. I pulled over and the Sheriff’s Car pulled in behind me as Gary went by at 70MPH.

The Deputy got my ID and asked me, “Did you deliberately take off to show me your speed?” I said, “No sir. I didn’t see you. I would never zoom away from a Police officer.”

He said, “Are you packing?”

I said, “Yes”.

He said, “I already knew that.” Then he stood there flipping my license on his thumb. After a while he handed it back to me and said, “I won’t ask you to slow down, but watch out for those trucks.”

And he got back in his cruiser and took off real fast.

Later Gary and I cut it up. We figured that he was a biker and Gary said he must have been the Deputy or one of them that investigated the incident at the motorcycle shop. That’s how he knew that I was packing.

Sometimes a pocket pistol wins without being pulled or fired.

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