One of three men involved in stopping a bank robbery suspect on Friday said carrying a sidearm is the responsibility of able-bodied, law-abiding men.

Flagstaff resident Dave Young said he was driving up to the Arizona Central Credit Union branch on North West Street shortly after 4 p.m. on Friday when he was puzzled by the sight of his friend, Michael Pileggi, detaining a woman.

He quickly noticed his friend's son, Chase Pileggi, was also trying to stop a man as he jumped over a fence. Young said he quickly confirmed that a bank robbery had occurred and took off after the two in his vehicle.

Young caught up with the pair nearby and watched as Chase tackled the man. The younger Pileggi got the man in a hold and Young placed his hand on his sidearm, showing the suspect that he was armed. He did not pull his gun.

"I provided cover for him. If the suspect had tried to pull a weapon I could have stopped him," Young said. "I told him don't move. I looked him over for weapons and visually inspected the suspect, then called 911."

TRAINING A PREREQUISITE

Police quickly arrived on scene and took custody of the robbery suspect, later identified as Joshua Nesmith, 32, of Flagstaff.

Officials said Nesmith was wearing a black hat and mask when he handed the teller a note and demanded that she give him money. The suspect had a knife he didn't display, but he tossed it.

Young said he doesn't believe he's a superhero, but he said as an able-bodied person, he feels duty-bound to help protect his community. Young has extensive martial arts training and has held a concealed carry permit since 1998 in preparation for a situation such as this.

In Arizona, gun owners can carry a concealed or exposed weapon without a permit or training.

"I think it's important if you're a male with a clean record to protect your community," Young said. "You should be ready to do something like this if possible."

However, Young also contends that anyone who wants to carry a weapon should go through the same training he has. That training taught him how to handle a weapon and gave him the mental and emotional control needed not to pull the weapon unless necessary, he said.

He said he believes that having a CCW permit to show to officers also made the police officers who responded to the scene feel more comfortable with him having a weapon.

"I didn't pull the weapon. Nobody got shot," he said.

MAGAZINE LIMITS UNWISE

In the wake of last week's Newtown, Conn. school shooting, which claimed the lives of 28 people, Young said he wants the community to know that responsible gun owners exist and can have a positive impact.

"As soon as I leave work, my pistol is at my side, and it doesn't leave my side unless I'm about to go into a place that doesn't allow it," he said.

Young disagrees with those now arguing for stricter regulation of firearms.

"Would you feel better if you were shot with a 10-round magazine instead of 30?" he said. "If criminals are going to have them, responsible citizens should be able to have them."

Eric Betz can be reached at 556-2250 or ebetz@azdailysun.com.

(14) comments

specialdml
specialdml

Thank You!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

stjoseph
stjoseph

I actually laud the people who were involved in this incident to the good of the law.
However, it does not make 1108 SB any safer, or saner. It is a rediculously bad law, and endangers many who have never had the training required etc. that the law had in place prior to dethroned Sen Russel K Pearce's Bill. Also the idea of a mass of "law abiding" citizens such as students at a school or crime scene stopping an armed thug does not account for through and through bullets exposing all to danger.

stevene
stevene

Well done!

stjoseph
stjoseph

Two punks who are carrying firearms to rob a bank does not mean they will use them as in this case when confronted with armed "law abiding citizens". But when we arm ourselves with firearms with a law that requires no training, no licensing and we are suddenlty in a shootout; we may suddenly become non-law abiding citizens. Law Officers have many times been confronted with firing back criminals and only constant training decreases the possibility of innocent coitizens being struck by gunfire,

stjoseph
stjoseph

The law that allows assault rifles, 30 rd magazine, no training, no llicensing just allowed to purchase an CCW is a flawed and dangerous law. Anyone who has ever been involved in a shooting as descirbed as confronatational ( I have had eleven as a law enforcement officer) can quickly become a non-law abiding citizen. Trajectories, through and through rounds, and ricochets are never considered when the innocent bystanders are struck by friendly fire, or fire by the crooks.

eddunn
eddunn

This guy needs to be better informed. I am disappointed the article had no balance with some facts about gun ownership. Here is a link that just touches the surface of gun ownership: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=503215733052237&set=a.182300141810466.38724.146422995398181&type=1&ref=nf

ljks23
ljks23

Women are capable of protecting the community as well.... had to throw that out there.

BlikeH2o
BlikeH2o

Wow - that is exactly what we need a group of men & women trained with the emotional & mental control to use a firearm safely to protect our community. We could call them police....

DanFrazier
DanFrazier

Re: "Good Samaritan argues for civilian gun use." The most troubling sentence: "In Arizona, gun owners can carry a concealed or exposed weapon without a permit or training." If civilians carrying guns is a good idea, then perhaps bank tellers should carry guns? Then the next time a robber goes into a bank, he probably won't bring a knife. He is more likely to bring a gun that is bigger than what the bank tellers have. So now everybody has a gun. I think I'll stick with online banking.

hunter86004
hunter86004

Geez folks, no firearm was even used, only shown.

NotASheep
NotASheep

StJoe: Please show me one instance when a concealed weapon permit holder discharged a firearm while stopping a crime and an innocent bystander was injured/killed - you can't because its never happened.
"high capacity magazine, semi-auto pistols, and "assault weapons" have been around since WW2 (the AR-15 is almost 50 years old!) so please don't portray this as a gun problem, its a people problem.
Let's fix the real problem, violence in our media and the lack of proper care for the mentally ill.

NoNonsense
NoNonsense

stjoseph said: Law Officers have many times been confronted with firing back criminals and only constant training decreases the possibility of innocent coitizens being struck by gunfire,
Did you miss this headline recently? "In Cleveland last month, a late-night car chase culminated in police discharging their weapons 137 times, killing two people who appear to have been unarmed." Would you like to elaborate on your comment?

NotASheep
NotASheep

Its not that hard for a law abiding citizen to receive more training than most agencies provide for their officers. The problem is, StJoe believes citizens don't have the right and free will to take care of themselves.
When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.

michael pileggi
michael pileggi

Regarding the statement of David Young, and his accounting of the events about being a good Samaritan, and displaying his firearm to the suspect bank robber, is a total fabrication. The only thing Mr. David Young did was call 911. The only two people involved were my son, including myself. Chase Pileggi singlehandedly detained the suspect bank robber. Mr. Young did absolutely nothing in aiding us, except to make the phone call to 911. I am so tired of reading these false accounts, and would like to make clear the true circumstances of events, because we were the were in fact the only two persons involved. Please correct this error, so Mr. David Young does not continue to fabricate lies for his concealed carry weapon agenda. Chase Pileggi is and remains the one true hero here.

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