- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A fencing coach foiled a robbery Tuesday after he chased down a couple of thieves with his sword in Nashville, Tenn., a local television station reported.

Franco Scaramuzza said he was pulling into a shopping center when he saw two men use pepper spray against a couple and steal a purse.

“The first thing that went through my head is somebody should do something, and that’s when I got really upset and disappointed with myself, because I realized I had the opportunity to do something. And I didn’t want to be a hypocrite who just tweeted about it,” Mr. Scaramuzza told WSMV-TV.

He then jumped out of his car in his full fencing outfit, grabbed his sword, called an epee, and started charging toward the suspects.

“I charged towards them, holding my epee up high, and, you know, yelling at them,” he told the station. “I kept yelling throughout the entire thing. They completely panicked and dropped everything they stole and really took off.”

Michael Butt and Zachary Johnson were picked up by police and charged with robbery. They remain jailed on $50,000 bond each, the station reported.

“You have to overcome your own fears,” Mr. Scaramuzza added. “You have to make decisions in a very quick amount of time. Fencing, you can do it without the weapon. It happens in your mind, and that’s how you try to make the right choices.”

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