PROVO — The wrong end of a gun barrel wasn't what the man who was attempting to rob the Provo Greyhound Freight and Travel depot was expecting Thursday afternoon.
But that's the position a 27-year-old Orem man was facing after demanding money from Scott Windhorst, the independent owner of the Greyhound station at 124 N. 300 West. A concealed weapons permit holder, Windhorst said he didn't hesitate in pulling out his pistol instead of forking out the company's cash.
"I perceived that he didn't have a weapon and just thought, 'He's not doing this,' " Windhorst said as he recalled the incident on Friday. "If the guy had had a gun or a knife, I would have given him the money."
Windhorst said the man, who appeared intoxicated as he entered the station around 2 p.m. on Thursday, first requested ticket information before presenting a note that read "give me all of your money and no alarms."
Because Windhorst's eyesight isn't perfect, he said he had to adjust the note a few times before catching its message, to which he simply replied, "You really want to do this?"
When the man insisted he was serious about robbing Windhorst, the station owner reached for his Colt .380 pistol and ordered the man to the floor. While Windhorst held the man down, another customer contacted police.
"I was yelling at the top of my lungs — no profanity," Windhorst clarified. "I told him, 'You stay right there. You can talk to the officers.' "
Provo police officer Gregory Heninger arrived at the station within two minutes of the call, happy to find the tables turned.
"It's kind of scary to protect yourself with a weapon," Heninger said. "In this case, it turned out real well."
Heninger said the man was not a savvy criminal, since he indicated he wanted to use the money to purchase a bus ticket. The officer couldn't say how the man expected to wait for the bus after robbing the station.
Police booked the man into Utah County Jail for investigation of attempted robbery and public intoxication.
Windhorst said there couldn't be a nicer police department to work with than Provo's. He credits a positive outcome to their speedy response and helpful attitude.
Heninger applauded Windhorst for using his concealed weapon training to resolve the situation safely.
"I'm not a fearful person," Windhorst explained. "I have nine kids. I'm used to being in control."