Man fights off gas station attacker
A Clyde man says he was attacked by a stranger while sitting in a gas station parking lot last week.
Mark Beaudrot, 54, regularly goes to the Single Stop II convenience store on Radio Hill in Canton just to shoot the breeze with some of his friends who work there. When they aren't taking care of customers, they chat with Beaudrot and if they are busy, he often sits in his truck in the parking lot.
That's exactly what he was doing on a normal evening Aug. 8 around 7 p.m. — he was sitting in the driver's seat of his truck parked at the convenience store with the windows rolled down.
He noticed a red flatbed truck pull up to the store with a passenger who went into the store. He also noticed the driver, who looked suspicious.
"He just looked like he was out to start something with somebody," Beaudrot said.
Suddenly, he said, the driver, later identified as 40-year-old Earnest Patterson of Clyde, got out of his truck and came up to him, asking if he wanted to fight.
"He kept saying, 'Do you want some of this,'" Beaudrot said.
Then, Patterson began punching Beaudrot through his open truck window, striking him in his left eye.
"He went to open the truck door and right then I said to myself, 'I'm going to have to fight now because I have to defend myself,'" Beaudrot said.
He managed to get out of the truck and Patterson attempted to punch him again.
"He was trying to grab me and that's when I jammed my thumb in his left eye as far as I could. I think I did some serious damage to his eye," Beaudrot said.
That's when the altercation ended and Patterson retreated to his truck.
Beaudrot was shocked the incident even happened and isn't sure what may have provoked the suspect.
"I don't know him from Adam and Eve. I've never seen him. Why he chose me to try to fight I have no idea," Beaudrot said. "He wasn't expecting me to fight back. I'm sure he knows now he picked a fight with the wrong one."
In the end, an off-duty police officer who saw the incident called police. Officers pulled the vehicle over that Patterson was in and he was issued a citation for simple assault. According to police reports, "Mr. Patterson said he was drunk and acting stupid and was not aware of what caused the fight in the first place."
Beaudrot said he is thankful he wasn't hurt and was able to defend himself, but he hopes others take heed of his experience.
"People need to know just to be careful out there. Things could happen like that. Don't leave your windows down while you're sitting in your car alone," he said.