ALPHARETTA, Ga. — An Alpharetta man accused of pulling a gun on two women at a post office to protect himself from exposure to COVID-19 said he was only defending himself.
Police arrested Harvey Taratoot, 75, on Sunday after the incident at the post office branch on Webb Bridge Road.
Sandra Wilson told Channel 2’s Michael Seiden that Taratoot pointed the gun at her and her 18-year-old granddaughter.
"He literally pulled his gun out of his holster,” she said. "When he pulled his gun out of his holster, all you could do is just think this man. Was we going to live. Was we going to die?"
Taratoot contacted Channel 2 Action News after seeing his story on TV and in the newspaper because he wants to clear his name.
“These two ladies from the left walk into the main entrance, which is the only in and out entrance, and one of them has a mask on and the other has a hoodie on,” he told Channel 2’s Mike Petchenik. “So, as they start approaching I say to them, ‘Please don’t come any closer,' and they ignore what I say and keep coming closer.
Taratoot said his wife has severe asthma, so he wanted to prevent himself from bringing the virus home.
“So, to stop her from coming any closer, for fear that they could have the virus, here it is she’s wearing a mask, I don’t know why she’s wearing a mask, I pull out my pistol, I do not aim it at them, but I pulled it out,” he said. “As soon as she saw me take it out of my holster, she stopped.”
The woman got Taratoot’s license plate and reported it to police, who later arrested him at his home for pointing a gun at another person. He spent a night in the Fulton County Jail and is ironically now quarantining from his wife because he doesn’t know whether he was exposed to something there.
“I don’t think in all the years I’ve carried a gun, 40 something years, have I ever had to pull my gun on anybody,” he said. “I’ve never had anybody totally disregard what you say to them when they know, after you explain it to them, that they’re endangering your life.”
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