Retired Cop Fights Off Gun-Toting Robber

By Claudia Rivero and Dan Stamm
|  Tuesday, Jan 4, 2011  |  Updated 12:38 AM EDT
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A retired <a title=Atlantic City police captain fought back after a man who shoveled his driveway pulled a gun on him." />

NBCPhiladelphia.com - Claudia Rivero, Dave Palmer

A retired Atlantic City police captain fought back after a man who shoveled his driveway pulled a gun on him.

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A retired Atlantic City Police captain became the target of a gun-wielding robber Sunday night.

"I just thank God that he didn't shoot me, he could have -- very easily," 80-year-old George Nelson said.

The former head of ACPD’s major crime bureau had seen it all but never imagined he would become the target of a cold-hearted thief.

"He was just like a thug... out to rob and get money."

But Nelson knew the man who pulled a gun on him.

The same guy who helped him shovel the sidewalk after the Christmas weekend snow storm, showed up at his door offering to leave his contact information in case he needed help in the future, Nelson said.

The man then asked Nelson to use the bathroom.

Nelson hesitated but eventually let the man in. The guys used the bathroom but while he was leaving things quickly took a turn for the worse, Nelson said.

"He went to his pocket and said, 'I got a gun -- I want your money.'"

The alleged robber probably wasn’t banking on Nelson fighting back.

"So many years telling victims, 'don't fight -- give them the money,' right away I started fighting the guy."

"We started scuffling... and we both fell down the stairs."

Exhausted and out of breath Captain Nelson gave the man the $230 in his pocket and the thief also made of with Nelson’s Atlantic County Community College class ring.

"I hope they get him. I'm sure they will."

The thief was described as a stocky black male in his late 20s to mid 30s with a close cropped haircut. He is 6-foot to 6-foot-2, 300 pounds and was wearing a dark wool cap, dark pants and a dark three-quarter length coat at the time of the crime.

Detectives were canvassing the neighborhood on Michigan Avenue, hoping to generate leads. Many officers were also stopping by the retired cops house just to check in on him.

Luckily Nelson wasn't hurt.

So if he had to do it all over again, would he?

"I almost forgot how old I was, I'm serious! You can't do those kinds of things anymore."


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