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Discussion in 'In the News' started by Malum Prohibitum, May 31, 2007.
Daniels says he closed about 18 parks a night. He starts about 6:30 and finishes about 11 p.m. He said he frequently was harassed. Kids threw eggs at him and he had to kick out people who sleep in the restrooms. At times, he added, he called police to help him shut the parks.
"It's kind of frightening now really," he said. "I need the money, yes, but I don't need the hassle."
He said he didn't know carrying a gun was a violation of city policy.
State records show Daniels possesses a concealed weapons permit that expires in 2009. He said he carried the chrome, snub-nose revolver in a holster on his hip. His shirt covered it.
A nine-year employee, he said he started carrying the gun after his personal car was stolen while off duty a few years ago in the northwest area. "I didn't carry it when I first started [my parks job]," he said. "I think I must have been carrying for the last couple years."
Commissioner E. Pat Larkins lashed out at the Public Works Department after hearing about Daniels' termination. Larkins questions whether Daniels should have been fired.
"Nobody is crazy enough to go out alone without a gun to close the parks," Larkins said.
Smith doubts he needed the weapon.
"I'm not sure why he would feel threatened in Kester Park," Smith said. "I'm hard pressed to find a justification ... to find a reason why a city employee should carry a firearm."
Daniels met with Public Works Director Rob McCaughan on May 15 and was fired a day later. According to Smith, there were no other job complaints involving Daniels until the robbery brought the gun to his bosses' attention.
A Broward Sheriff's Office report said the robbery happened on a Sunday about 9:30 p.m. after Daniels finished locking the restroom doors at Kester Park, 801 NE Fourth St. Two men came up and pointed guns at his head. One man "stuck the gun in my face and said, `Give it up old man,'" he said. A third man came from behind, stole $50 from his pockets and the gun still in the holster.
"I was OK. Just a little shook up and nervous," said Daniels, who watched the men drive away.
Larkins said he has asked the city to look into safety measures for employees assigned to shut down parks.
"There is no compassion for some guy who is putting his damn life on the line, every night of the week," Larkins said.
Melissa Hoyos can be reached at [email protected] or 954-356-4233.
FWIW, the city's HR Director, Michael Smith, can be emailed at:
Post at PDO
I guess he needs to go see Ken at Firearmz.
Hmmmm.......maybe because Kester Park is not safe. James Daniels was robbed at gunpoint and all......Idiot.
Is this the same mindset of folks in places like.....Coweta County?
I wonder what Smith would think if he had to kick vagrants & various forms of low life out of parks by himself after dark when other law abiding folks aren't around?
Maybe after he was lucky enough to have a couple guys rub the barrel of their pistols against his noggin he might change his tune.
This really makes me
F'n socialst people.....your not allowed to protect or have the means to protect your self......they want you to be sheep.
Here too. Maybe some of the management need to do his job for a few weeks and see if they change their minds.
Isn't Dominoes Pizza the same way?
The drivers that carried anyway and later fired said they would rather be armed and unemployed than unarmed and dead. Can't argue with that logic.
My younger brother used to work for Pizza the Hut, many moons ago. One of his Co workers, delivery guy, started carrying after being robbed and beaten and carjacked by the people that ordered the pizza!
Unfortunately he carried his piece in his fanny pack with the money he carried, (not one specifically for a pistol), and accidently shot himself in the leg, and was later fired for violating company policy.
As irony would have it not too long afterward 2 guys robbed the store itself and one of the robbers freaked out and wanted to kill all the witnesses but the other guy talked him out of it. ( Maybe they were playing good armed robber, bad armed robber)
There was no one there that could abide by company rules and defend themselves if this guy started shooting.
My thoughts exactly...make Smith close the parks for 6 months
I can't and wouldn't argue with that either.
This is all unfortunate, first he is 72 years old doing a job like this. Secondly, he was clearly not paying attention to his surroundings. The only good outcome here is that the robbers did not hurt or kill him.