Machete mornings in Tuscaloosa

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A quiet Sunday morning in a central Alabama city ended up with a home invasion, a machete, and a gun-armed homeowner who refused to be a victim.

The Town

If you have ever watched college football, then you know of the University of Alabama (Roll Tide!) Well the town they hail from is the West-Central Alabama metropolis along the Black Warrior River of some 90,000 souls by the name of Tuscaloosa. Named after one of the fiercest Native American chiefs that Spanish explorer and scoundrel Hernado De Soto crossed swords with in the 16th Century, the town has a fighting spirit.

Speaking of swords, scoundrels, and fighting spirits, let us go over what happened at a quiet home along Pin Brook Lane last Sunday morning.

The morning of the long knives

On April 13, at about 1030 am, an unidentified couple was sharing breakfast in their home. After all, what else would you be doing at that time of the morning on the weekend? It was then that a large young man, armed with a machete, burst into the home and brandished a huge knife. Specifically a Gerber Bear Grylls machete with an orange handle and 13.5 inch blade.

(The Gerber Grylls machete, *note: Bear Grylls likely does not endorse the use of this edged weapon for armed robbery.)

The young man, according to WBRC Tuscaloosa, then said to the couple, ""Take me to your valuables," through his mask.

Sick and tired homeowner

Maybe the man of the house was not good with surprise visitors to breakfast, especially those who display horrible table manners (I mean this is the Deep South, here), but instead of just handing over the valuables laying around the house to the would-be jungle master, he, instead, jumped into a struggle with the armed robber.

As the husband fought, the wife took advantage of the situation to make a clean getaway, making for the neighbor's home where she promptly called the police.

Meanwhile, the likely misunderstood, disadvantaged youth, who had seen too much television, continued his struggle with the homeowner. Finally giving up the fight, he departed the home on foot with his long brush blade and attempted to effect a clean getaway.

What next?

Well like the old Johnny Cash song, "Sunday Morning Coming Down," the homeowner grabbed his handgun and took after the assailant. Catching him down the road.

Did we mention that the homeowner was a retired marine in his 70s with Vietnam experience? You know, from the era when people had a little more respect for their elders.

Well, chasing down the hapless robber, the homeowner held him at bay until local law enforcement arrived.

When they did, they took one Daniel Pearman, 21, into custody.

Mr. Daniel Pearman, alleged suspect. Photo from Tuscaloosa PD.

Police however cautioned against such actions by homeowners on fleeing suspects.

"We encourage people to let them go and let us try to find them. In this situation, it worked out. But you're putting yourself at risk that you don't need to by actually going after somebody," said Tuscaloosa Police Public Information Officer Sgt. Brent Blankley.

For Pearman, the hapless robber was charged with two counts of 1st degree robbery as well as a bonus prize of one county of 1st degree burglary. Currently he is cooling his heels in the Tuscaloosa County Jail where he is being held pending bonds totaling some $180,000.

Roll Tide.

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July 5, 2014  •  09:18 PM
Why don't you policemen leave that determination to us, as to whether or not to pursue an attacker?