A would-be carjacker thought he found an easy target in a 67-year-old man who was out running errands Monday night in Jacksonville, Fla.
Instead he came across Bill Strudel, a deputy chief of police at the University of North Florida and a 25-year veteran of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.
Strudel, who is also a firearms instructor, was off-duty and getting ice from a stand-alone dispenser when a 15-year-old — who was part of a larger group of teenagers — approached him with a gun and demanded the keys to his truck, the Florida Times-Union reported.
Strudel said he slapped the gun away, but the teen aimed it at him again. Strudel swiped at the weapon again but missed. The teen then pistol-whipped him in the forehead.
Strudel was also kicked and had blood flowing into his eyes when he reached for the retirement gift he received ten years ago when he left the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.
Strudel pulled out that present — his old service weapon — and shot several times at the teenager, striking him in the backside.
He was able to hold the would-be thief at gun point as other motorists stopped to help before police arrived.
The suspect was arrested. Strudel required several stitches to close up the gash on his head.
“He took a pretty significant blow to the head,” University of North Florida police chief Frank Mackesy told the Florida Times-Union. “He was definitely shaken up.”
“The suspect messed with the wrong guy,” Mackesy added. “He was responding in a way he was trained to respond. If it had been anybody else out there, I don’t know how this would have turned out.”