“Dirty Harry” Ex-City Commissioner on Trial

Fitzroy Salesman wasn't going to let some punk kid threaten him in a Winn Dixie

Fitzroy Salesman claims he was a scared old man afraid for his life.

So he did what any frail old man would do when a teen challenged him to "take it outside" - he pulled out his semi-automatic pistol in a crowded Winn Dixie.

And for that, the former Miramar City Commissioner is on trial for assault with a firearm. Sometimes, that old school Dirty Harry street justice just doesn't play well in the court of law.

On Tuesday, a jury heard opening arguments in the case, which ended in a mistrial last month because a juror brought a dictionary into the deliberation room at the end of the trial.

Jurors heard and saw a play-by-play of what happened on Thanksgiving Eve 2007, when Salesman and 17-year-old Lazavius Hudson had their showdown in a check-out line.

While the surveillance tape doesn't have the audio of the not-so-friendly conversation between the two, attorneys agreed the heated exchange went something like this:

After Salesman, 52,  had complained about the store not having any self check out lines open, he walked up to Hudson's shopping cart to tell the cashier Hudson would be a good candidate for the self checkout.

Dirty Harry

Feeling disrespected, Hudson barked at the much older Salesman, "Do you want to take it outside?"

Those are fighting words no matter what generation you were born in.

After a few moments, Hudson was headed outside with his sodas when Salesman approached him and brandished his gun, which he had on a holster in his back pocket. Salesman has a concealed weapons permit and was allowed to have the gun in the Winn Dixie.

"Now, do you really want to take it outside?" he said to a startled Hudson.

You have to love that response, even if Salesman's reaction was a little over the top. Couldn't you imagine Clint Eastwood doing the same thing, even today? The only thing missing was, "So do you feel lucky, punk? Well, do ya?"

Prosecutors argued Salesman was a crazy mad man. Salesman said it was self-defense.

If convicted, Salesman could be sentenced to at least three years in prison.

One things for sure, Hudson won't be challenging any old men anytime soon.

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