When I worked for the Veterans Administration in Johnstown I was almost shot to death. We were located in the old Post Office. All the employees were at one level. I was in a corner. I had all glass windows on my office.
So Im sitting there doing my work, when I see our lawyer come out of the door across the hall. Hes all disheveled, you know. He comes in and says,
"This guy came in, he says he wants his money. I told him, we dont have your money. So he beat me up. Then he says, wheres the head, the Chief? So I point to your office.
"Then I said Look. You know the hospital you were at? He had a pass. I said, The bank, the moneys in the bank. We dont have your money.'
"So he says, Ill be back and Ill put a bullet right through that tie. Then he left."
The patients name was Paul Lukas, same as the actor. Ill never forget it. Big guy. The first thing I did was phone his home where his sister answered.
"Does your brother own a gun?"
After a long pause she said, "Yes. He just left and took it with him."
We had an armed guard. He used to stay way in the back where the trucks come in and out. I said to him "Look. I want you to do something. Just stand by the revolving door; you dont have to do anything else. When this patient comes in, as soon as he walks past you, just grab him around the chest; just pin his arms to his side, well take care of the rest."
Well you know we couldnt find the guard anyplace after that.
Im sitting in my office and I see all the employees start to move back to the rear of the room. I lean over to see what it is. Here he is with a gun, pointing it to the ceiling. So I got out and stalked him step-by-step, thinking to myself " What the hell am I doing?"
I tackled him down to the floor. Soon as I went down on the floor, somebody else went down on the floor on top of us. It was his Father. And after that, I saw a couple of thick-soled shoes -- the police. Anyway, I took the gun from him; I sat him down; I calmed him down.
I always thought that he didnt shoot me because I was like a she-lion, stalking her prey. Years later I realized that since he was heavily built and had his right arm pointing to the ceiling he couldnt see me coming from his right side. I dont know what would have happened if he did see me.
He might have put a bullet right through me.