ROSEVILLE (WWJ) – Police say an armed citizen came to the aid of security guards at a metro Detroit Home Depot store who were being attacked by a drug-addicted shoplifter with a dirty syringe.
The incident happened Monday afternoon at the Home Depot store on 13 Mile Road and Little Mack Avenue, off I-94 in Roseville, as the guards were trying to apprehend 26-year-old Joshua Joseph Silva who was caught shoplifting.
Instead of cooperating, police say Silva “began to violently fight” with the guards in an attempt to avoid arrest. At some point during the altercation, Silva allegedly pulled a concealed syringe from his jacket and began using it as a weapon.
Police say Silva was whirling the syringe around in a swinging motion, and was able to stab one of guards several times with the contaminated needle.
Another shopper who has a concealed pistol license saw the altercation and quickly sprung into action. Police say the man produced his handgun and ordered Silva to drop the syringe and get on the ground.
“Faced with the threat of deadly force, the suspect stopped fighting and complied with the order, dropping the syringe and taking a seat on the parking lot,” police said in a statement.
But when Silva, who apparently knew his arrest was imminent, heard the sound of approaching police sirens, police say he jumped up and attempted to flee the area on foot. At that point, the store guards let Silva run off, allowing police to take over.
Police quickly caught up with Silva and placed him under arrest without further incident.
One of the security guards was treated and released from a local hospital for stab wounds he suffered during the encounter.
Silva, an Eastpointe resident, was arraigned Tuesday afternoon on charges of assault with intent to do great bodily harm and first degree retail fraud.
Bond was set at $25,000.00 cash or surety; and, pending the posting of bond, Silva will be lodged in the Macomb County Jail.
The syringe is expected to be tested by the Michigan State Police Crime Lab for any signs of communicable disease. Police will also be requesting a search warrant to have Silvas tested for any sign of infectious diseases that could have been transmitted to the security guard.
Police say the armed citizen, who wishes to remain anonymous, told them he became involved because the suspect was so extremely violent and it appeared he was getting the best of the guards. The man told police he feared the suspect was going to kill one of the unarmed guards if he did not intervene.