WATCH NOW: Morganton store clerk battles an armed robber. Don’t miss this video. | Crime News

In 15 years of running a convenience store, Harshad Patel said he had never seen anything like what happened on May 23.

It was around 2.30pm that day when a man entered the store, fired a handgun into the floor and turned the gun on Patel inside Shop and Save #4 on West Fleming Drive in Morganton.

“He asked me, ‘give me some money,'” Patel said. “I said, ‘how?’ I couldn’t figure it out because it’s never happened in the last 15 years (I’ve been) here.

The man was wearing a hoodie and had his face covered with a mask. But that wasn’t enough to scare Patel.

Video of the theft shows Patel waving his finger at the thief before grabbing the phone and calling 911.

The thief came around the counter and struggled with Patel, firing a shot at Patel’s chest. The bullet was deflected by a thin metal pole that Patel was using to fight off the robber.

“I’m not scared, because (everyone dies once),” Patel said.

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The man finally saw the key in the cash register drawer, opened it, and started grabbing bills from the drawer.

Patel continued to hit him with the metal pole, but the robbery eventually ended with the man limping out of the store with a wad of cash.






A clerk fought back during an armed robbery last week, moaning at his attacker with a metal pole.


Morganton Department of Public Safety, submitted


Police charged Reginald Alfonza Faison, 49, of Lenoir, with attempted murder and robbery with a dangerous weapon in connection with the crime. They said a tipster identified Faison shortly after the crime was committed and U.S. Marshals arrested him Wednesday at a Hickory home.

Patel said he did not dwell on the situation, but was taking advantage of it to better prepare for possible future attacks.

“I’m ready for next time,” Patel said. “I applied for a license (for a) firearm and I no longer keep any money here. That’s all.”

Faison is due back in court on June 27.

Chrissy Murphy is editor and can be reached at [email protected] or 828-432-8941. Follow @cmurphyMNH on Twitter.