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David Edmondson has been living as an independent business owner in northern California for nearly 10 years. He operates with pure hustle, driving an average of 45,000 miles every year delivering and selling sauerkraut to farmer’s markets and grocery stores. Everywhere he goes, he becomes known as the sauerkraut guy. People not only love his products, they also love him.

On Fridays he would pack up his product and head to Sacramento to make deliveries to local grocery stores. He would then sleep in his van to be prepared for early morning shoppers eager for his popular sauerkraut on Saturday morning at Folsom Farmers Market and on Sunday mornings at Carmichael Park Farmers Market.

On July 4, 2020, after all his deliveries were made to local grocery stores, David climbed into the back of his van around 9 p.m. to go to sleep. Nearly an hour after he dozed off, he was awakened by the sound of sirens and flashing lights. 

“I could see fire trucks, flashing lights and several police cars all around my vehicle, but they were facing the opposite direction of my van,” said David. “They didn’t seem to be interested in me. So, I got in the driver’s seat and drove to a different location so I could get a good night’s rest.”

Apparently, a motor home had caught fire. The fire trucks were there to put out the fire.

Around 2 a.m., David was abruptly awakened by a loud thud. Someone was pounding on his van. 

“I went from being in a deep sleep to being on high alert,” said David. “The beating on my van got louder and louder. I had my pistol beside me in its holster. I grabbed for it, just in case I needed it, and yelled out to whoever was hitting my van.” 

David attempted to communicate with the man outside while simultaneously preparing in case he'd need to defend himself. 

“The man hitting the side of my van was using what appeared to be a 2x4 stringer from an old wooden pallet, complete with nails in it,” David recalled. “There was one hit to the side of the van where the nail heads punctured the metal on the van, if that tells you how hard he was hitting it. He went around and broke six out of the nine panes of glass on the van. He just wouldn’t stop.”

As it turns out, the attacker was the owner of the motor home that caught on fire earlier. 

“He was screaming about me watching his motor home burn down,” said David. “He didn’t seem coherent. I wasn’t even near his motor home, so I wasn’t quite sure why he was coming after me.”

David tried everything in his power to tell the attacker to stop hitting his van and leave. He yelled out several times he had a gun and the attacker acknowledged him. None of David’s warnings stopped the attacker.

“He kept mocking me,” David recollected. “It wasn’t even a threat to him. He had zero concern that I had a gun. It just made him angrier.”

The attacker then broke through the passenger window and the passenger door. 

David kept telling the attacker to leave, but he continued to become more aggressive. The attacker eventually broke the van’s side slider window, entered the van, and began bashing David in the head with the nail riddled 2 x 4 wooden pallet. David had his gun in his right hand and tried to call 911 with his left hand but was unsuccessful. 

“At that moment, I had a choice,” explains David. “Either I pull the trigger, or I get murdered. I pulled the trigger. For the first time since my sleep, there was silence. I felt relief.”  

That relief was short-lived. David had a million thoughts running through his head. What had he done? Would he go to jail? Would he lose his home?  

David immediately called 911 to report the incident. With the police on the way, David proceeded to call U.S. LawShield, where he had been a member for a little more than a month. He remembered seeing a video U.S. LawShield showed weeks prior to the incident about the necessary steps to take if you have to call 911. 

“It was about 2:15 a.m., just 15 minutes after I heard the first thud to my van, and as soon as I contacted U.S. LawShield, I was connected to a live representative right away who then connected me to an attorney,” said David. “He asked if I had called 911 and I told him I had.” 

David had legal counsel starting from the moment he called the U.S. LawShield emergency hotline. He was immediately connected to California Independent Program Attorney Doug Richards at Richards Carrington, LLC.

“You don’t know what a relief it is in that moment to have a live attorney to talk to,” said David. “I was the sole survivor in this harrowing incident, and I knew I was going to be treated like the suspect. It was terrifying, frankly. The only thought that was going through my head was losing my business and going to jail.”

When the cops arrived, David was standing in front of the van in the street with his hands raised.

“I followed my attorney’s instructions and Doug knew exactly what to do,” said David. 

David followed Doug’s recommendation and only spoke to the police with Doug present on the phone. Doug was able to speak with the police, tell David’s story, and negotiate that David would be released after answering a few basic questions at the station. From there, David was free to go. 

“David told me he had just recently purchased U.S. LawShield so I kept thinking about how lucky he was to have counsel a phone call away,” said Doug. “The police never consider the feelings of someone in David’s situation. He was traumatized by the experience and had no business talking with the police alone. But people do it every single day, and every day they end up wrongfully charged by the police.” 

Police took David back to his damaged van. The windows were broken, the slider door didn’t work and there were signs of a struggle that told a story that David would never forget. 

“I made one last delivery to a nearby grocery store and drove the van home three and a half hours,” David recalls.

Months later, David was called by an attorney representing the family of his attacker. He immediately called his U.S. LawShield attorney, Doug Richards, who represented him once again in a civil suit brought against him by his attacker’s parents. The civil case was eventually dismissed by the plaintiff. 

“U.S. LawShield was there for me not only once, but twice,” said David. “I don’t know where I would be without them. I’ve recommended U.S. LawShield to every gun person I know. I never go anywhere without my U.S. LawShield card in my wallet.”

David’s van is a constant reminder of the importance of his call to U.S. LawShield. David had his concealed carry license for nine years before buying his U.S. LawShield membership. 

“I was watching the George Floyd protests on television and I knew that it would be in my best interest to get concealed carry insurance in case I was ever in a situation where I needed it,” said David. “Six weeks later, in what I thought was the comfort of my van, this traumatic situation occurred, and I have never been so happy I made that decision to become a member. This insurance has changed my life.” 

David’s old van now has 370,000 miles on it. He got a new Salt and Savour Sauerkraut logo painted on it and had new windows put in. It still has several dents from the incident. David still attends farmer’s markets now and again and sometimes still sleeps in his van with his pistol in his holster. He doesn’t leave home without it. He is cautious, yet ambitious and knows that if he ever needs them, U.S. LawShield is just one phone call away – day or night.

David was once hesitant to share his story. He was scared that people might not want to buy his products. Fearful about what people would think about him being a concealed carry license holder. Alarmed about his situation and the incident that happened to him. Today, he shares his story because he knows that these types of situations can happen to anyone and he wants them to be prepared. You never know if you are going to be in the wrong location at the wrong time. But you can make the call. You can educate yourself and you can be prepared. David was. He made that phone call to U.S. LawShield. 

Today, David’s business is thriving. He has the same loyal customers as before and a very generous amount of new customers. However, every day when he walks outside to his van, he wonders what if he didn’t make that phone call to U.S. LawShield. Where would he be now?

The information provided in this publication is intended to provide general information to individuals and is not legal advice. The information included in this publication may not be quoted or referred to in any other publication without the prior written consent of U.S. LawShield, to be given or withheld at our discretion. The information is not a substitute for, and does not replace the advice or representation of a licensed attorney. We strive to ensure the information included in this publication is accurate and current, however, no claim is made to the accuracy of the information and we are not responsible for any consequences that may result from the use of information in this publication. The use of this publication does not create an attorney-client relationship between U.S. LawShield, any independent program attorney, and any individual.