Attention, Amazon delivery drivers: Defend yourself against attacks on the job at your own risk.
Take it from Gino Grove, an Ohio-based driver for the internet giant. He was assailed last week by a man who has since been charged with aggravated assault. He defended himself with a gun and was cleared of wrongdoing by police.
The Dayton Daily News reported that the incident took place at roughly 5 a.m. on Aug. 7. Grove was on his route in Middletown, Ohio, when a suspect — identified as Christopher Roberts — reportedly approached him with a knife.
“I see a guy running full speed at me,” Grove told WXIX-TV in an interview.
“He’s yelling, ‘Knife fight! Knife fight!’ And I look, and he has this big blade in his hand.”
Grove said he had already been put on alert by the fact he saw Roberts sneaking around his vehicle. After the suspect charged, Grove pulled his gun.
“I raise my firearm, and I try to tell him, ‘Stop, stop, stop!’ He’s like, ‘Knife fight! Knife fight!’ And he’s looking at me and got these bugged-out eyes, and he’s coming at me close,” he said.
Yet, when he shot Roberts in the leg, there was barely any reaction.
“I’m like, ‘Oh my goodness, this did not work on this man,’” Grove said. “He has a knife in his hand. I’m about to get gutted out here.”
Roberts thankfully fled, and Grove was able to call 911. About 12 hours later, Roberts was picked up by police after he reportedly left the hospital without permission; witnesses said he was acting strangely and trying to enter the sewers, according to Dayton Daily News.
A police report said Roberts was found in a creek “flailing in the water underneath a log.”
After a brief altercation, Roberts was tasered several times and taken into custody. He underwent surgery for the gunshot wound and was charged with a fourth-degree felony after he was released from the hospital.
Grove said that if he hadn’t fired his gun, he wouldn’t be going home to his wife and three children.
“I had to fend for my life at that moment, because that guy was attacking me with a knife,” he said, WXIX-TV reported.
“He came at me with a knife. If I didn’t have my firearm, I would not be here today. I know that for a fact. I would not be here today. My family would be planning my funeral.”
“Obviously, he [Grove] was in fear,” Middletown Police Chief David Birk said. “So, in defense of himself, he was able to discharge a firearm striking the individual in the leg area.”
Sgt. Earl Nelson, meanwhile, described Roberts as drug-crazed, Dayton Daily News reported.
“The Amazon guy was delivering packages, a man came out of nowhere waiving a knife — we think strung out … The Amazon driver fired and hit him in the leg,” he said.
The facts in this case seem almost ridiculously straightforward: Driver was attacked, driver fought back, driver escaped serious injury. A good guy with a gun beat a bad guy with a knife. Case closed, right?
Not for Amazon, however. Despite the fact police had cleared Grove by midweek and charged Roberts with aggravated assault, Grove doesn’t have his job back. He saved his own life but — at least temporarily — lost his employment.
What, pray tell, would Amazon rather have their drivers do, then? Roll over and play dead? If he were to follow that advice, Grove likely wouldn’t just be playing dead.
Absent new information coming to life, Gino Grove is an innocent man who was just earning a paycheck. He deserves to keep earning that paycheck.