A man who was expressing anger that fitness buffs inside a Minnesota gym were not wearing masks was tackled by the club’s manager and subsequently arrested after pointing a firearm at an employee’s chest.
It may have been preemptive to assume the New Year would bring any sort of return to sanity to our nation, it appears.
The Daily Caller reports that Mike Olson, 33, was forced to tackle 64-year-old Michael Florhaug after the elder gentleman brandished a firearm and then turned away from him.
“I just kind of knew it had to be done. It didn’t take much thinking. It was more of a reaction,” Olson, an Army veteran, explained, according to the Anchorage Daily News.
"I just kind of knew that it had to be done."
The man accused of wielding a handgun inside an LA Fitness center over maskless exercisers was subdued by the facility’s manager, who credits his quick reaction with the four years he spent in the army.https://t.co/Okdv7SBrlB
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) January 5, 2021
The gym’s Operations Manager Andrew Heitz said he was “glad [Olson] was there at the time. I would say he handled it very well.”
Florhaug had been complaining to an employee at the front desk of the gym that there were people exercising without masks. He threatened to photograph those members who were failing to comply with the state’s according mandate.
When Olson raised his hands to try to prevent Florhaug, who was not a member, from entering the club, Florhaug pulled out his firearm and pointed it at the assistant manager.
Olson, afraid that the man was going to “thought Florhaug was going to shoot members who didn’t have masks on” tackled him from behind and managed to disarm him.
Florhaug was charged with assault with a dangerous weapon, although he insists that he had only “flashed the gun” as he was trying to leave the premises and was then tackled, according to the Anchorage Daily News.
Of course, had he merely flashed the gun, Olson would have still been absolutely right to tackle him, disarm him, and alert authorities as that’s also illegal.
“[While] we definitely recommend that people call the police and try not to take matters in their own hands, it appears that the manager didn’t really have a choice. He felt like people’s lives were at risk. … He did a great job,” Maplewood Police Sgt. Joe Steiner said of the incident.
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