GERMANTOWN, Md. (WJZ) — Police are investigating after a 47-year-old Germantown man allegedly threatened a 7-Eleven clerk with a double-sided knife after they refused to let him return an item without a receipt.
Montgomery County Police were called to the 7-Eleven at 13001 Wisteria Drive in Germantown around 5:25 p.m. on Nov. 20 after they received a hang-up call.
When the 911 operator called back, an employee said, “I cannot talk to you because I have trouble. Can you come fast? Please help!”
The phone line then disconnected.
When officers arrived they saw several employees and customers, including a small child, in the store. When they asked if everything was alright, an employee pointed at a man and said, “No, he’s armed with a knife!”
The suspect, later identified as Rodney Taylor-Smith, stepped back from the counter holding a knife with two blades.
The officer drew her weapon and ordered Taylor-Smith to drop the knife. When he didn’t comply, she asked several more times, while ordering customers to move away from the man.
When more officers arrived, they again asked Taylor-Smith to drop the knife, but he squared up toward the officers and told the officers to drop their weapons.
An officer then deployed her Taser twice unsuccessfully. That’s when the suspect put the weapon in his pocket.
After attempting to negotiate with the man, an officer saw an opportunity to tackle Taylor-Smith. He was arrested without injury.
According to eyewitnesses, the incident stemmed from Taylor-Smith attempting to return an item without a receipt.
Taylor-Smith of Middlebrook Road in Germantown was charged with multiple counts of first-degree assault, second-degree assault, and reckless endangerment. He is being held without bail.
“These officers placed themselves in harm’s way to resolve this incident. I hope every county resident appreciates the courage and decisive actions that this peaceful resolution took,” Commander Mark Plazinski said. “Our officers are trained in negotiation and de-escalation, but when the suspect will not comply, we just cannot walk away. This could have easily ended with the suspect shot, but I am extremely proud that the officers’ firearms discipline and heroic actions were able to guarantee the safety of everyone.”