U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- Crime happens everywhere and at every time. It was after 2 am on a Thursday morning when a bartender/manager was closing George’s Tavern for the day. It was an ordinary day at the job in Samford, Florida. It was ordinary until the moment everything changed. Chelsea Putnam was only a few steps from the back door of the bar when she reached her car. Chelsea never saw her attacker as he hit her from behind. She saw him when he had her hands around her throat and was lifting her off the ground. Here is the rest of her story.
As a state, Florida is almost exactly average for its rate of violent crime. Crime is localized. The downtown section of Sanford, Florida has a violent crime rate that is twice the state’s average. On top of that, closing a bar night after night makes you a target. Some people want to rob the bar, rob the bar’s safe, or rob the people in the bar. Someone is always the last to leave.
The bar manager, Chelsea Putnam, knew she had a dangerous job. Her boyfriend knew it too. On Thursday morning, Chelsea called her boyfriend as she got ready to close the business. He was waiting in the parking lot before she set the alarms and locked the back door.
Neither of them knew that a stranger was hiding in a portable toilet that was sitting in the parking lot next to Chelsea’s car. The stranger had been waiting there for hours. The stranger jumped out of the toilet and attacked Chelsea as she reached for her keys. The attacker had her on the ground before her boyfriend could respond. The boyfriend got out of his vehicle and shot the attacker several times. The attacker ran. The boyfriend ran across the lot to check on Chelsea. The news stories are not clear about who called 911.
The bar manager and her boyfriend stayed at the scene. The attacker grabbed her by the throat and forced her to the ground. He beat her head against the ground several times. He tore open the front of her blouse. She was covered with mud and bruises from her legs to the back of her head.
She told reporters, “I have 3 kids at home. I thought I was going to die, and my 3 kids wouldn’t have a mother anymore.”
The attacker was not one of the regular patrons at this neighborhood bar. Again, the news reports are not clear if the employees recognized the attacker as a first-time customer or if the attacker was later identified by security video. Video showed that Chelsea dropped her keys and her purse next to her car when she was attacked. Video also showed that the attacker was wearing gloves.
Police found the attacker at the back of the parking lot. They declared the attacker dead at the scene. The police called it an attempted carjacking. Chelsea thinks it could have been more. The police interviewed neighbors to find out what they saw or heard.
The bar manager said she’ll be back at work. The armed boyfriend was not charged with a crime.
This story is one of many that go under-reported by the mainstream media because it shows a positive image of a law-abiding gun owner defending their life and their family. It is our responsibility at AmmoLand to report these stories to you. While we will continue to report these stories, groups like the Crime Prevention Research Center, led by Dr. John Lott, are fastidious in studying the use of firearms for self-defense. Stay up to date with all news on self-defense by following CPRC and Ammoland.
Original News Sources
- Interview with the victim
- Early news reports
- State-by-state comparison of violent crime rates
- Sanford, Florida, crime rate
About Rob Morse
Rob Morse writes about gun rights at Ammoland, at Clash Daily, at Second Call Defense, and on his SlowFacts blog. He hosts the Self Defense Gun Stories Podcast and co-hosts the Polite Society Podcast. Rob was an NRA pistol instructor and combat handgun competitor.