Clerks Fight Back

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LYCOMING COUNTY -- Chadwic Moriarty from the Salladasburg area of Lycoming County was arrested and charged with robbery Monday.

Police said around 8 a.m., Moriarty walked into the Family Dollar near Williamsport with a bandana over his face, showed a gun to the clerk and demanded money.

Investigators said, at one point, he put the gun on the counter to grab the money.

When he did, the female clerk acted fast, grabbing the gun and pointing it at Moriarty.

Police said Moriarty ran off, but then returned and attacked the clerk, grabbing the gun and smashing her cell phone when she tried to call for help.

"I just think it's a shame that people can't go to work in peace and not worry about things like that happening," said Jake Jacobs of Williamsport.

Police said they found Morairty with the gun and the money a short time later in a nearby cemetery.

The robbery may sound unusual, but a similar situation happened this past weekend in Schuylkill County.

Police in Saint Clair said a robber walked into a Unimart with a BB gun, put it on the counter and the clerk grabbed it.

In that case, investigators said the robber demanded the gun back before running from the store.

People who spoke with Newswatch 16 said they think the clerks in both cases had the right idea.

"Excellent. Do what they can to protect themselves. I think self-defense is not a bad thing. If someone is out to hurt you, defend yourself," said T.J. Matalavage.

"I would take it because I wouldn't want the robber to have it and hurt anyone else including myself, and I would think it would be a great opportunity to disarm him," said Lenora Georges of Williamsport.

"It kind of shocks me that he would let it lay on the counter, but I guess if he is going to leave it unattended, I would pick it up. I would rather have it in my possession than he have it in his," said Jennifer Sandoe of Trout Run.