Right Place at the Right Time – Reporter Foils Robbery

By Thomas E. Cheever, P.E.

A Huntsville, Alabama, news reporter, Vincent Crivelli, proved that chivalry, while on life support,  is not yet  dead.  Crivelli stopped a robbery by a convicted sex offender at  Kroger Supermarket on Oakwood Avenue in Hunstville, AL,  last Thursday evening.

 reporter foils robbery

Vincent Crivelli

Reporter Becomes the News 

On occasion, all of us have been in the right place at the right time, or depending on your point of view, the wrong place at the wrong time.  For me, it is usually the later, which is why I rarely buy lottery tickets.

But last Thursday, Crivelli was in the right place.  Kroger Manager Misty Suwarow was walking to her car when a man approached her.  According to Suwarow the man, now identified as Leonard Grey, 59,  asked her for money.  When she refused, the man yanked open her car door, then jumped on top of her.

Our health conscious shining knight stopped at Kroger after work to pick up strawberries and apples.  Fresh fruit is always a good choice.  As he approached the entrance he heard a horn honking.  First thinking a couple were having a heated argument, he soon realized this was more than a domestic dispute.  Crivelli said,

“It didn’t look like it was a domestic dispute.  It looked like it was much more, and she was screaming for help.”

Used to reporting the news story, Crivelli took action and found himself IN the news story.  In his best Dwayne ‘The Rock” Johnson impersonation, Crivelli used a headlock move to pull Grey out of the car and hold him until police arrived about 10 minutes later.

Grey reached into his pocket as police arrived.  Thinking it was a knife, Crivelli admits becoming scared.  Crivelli said,

“For the first time in the whole incident, I was scared.  ‘He’s got a knife. He’s got a knife,’ That’s what I was thinking.” 

Turns out it wasn’t a knife, but a crack pipe.  Not sure if Grey wanted one more hit before being hauled off to jail, or if he was worried about a drug paraphernalia charge on top of the attempted robbery charge.  Grey is clearly NOT a criminal mastermind, but for the moment one more bad guy is behind bars.

Grey was arrested by Huntsville Police for third-degree robbery and was taken to the Huntsville/Madison County Metro Jail for processing.  Grey, a registered sex offender, was convicted of attempted sexual battery in 1998.

Shine, Always Shine

The first rule of television reporting is ‘Shine, Always Shine’.  With Grey safely in police custody, Crivelli was able to relax, fix his tie and catch his breath while the adrenaline rush started to die down.  A Kroger employee recognized him and asked if he was the guy on TV.  Crivelli said,

“Yeah, Channel 48 News, we investigate.”

Finding himself on the uncomfortable end of the microphone, Crivelli told reporters he does not feel he is a hero, nor deserving of any recognition.  Crivelli said,

“At the end of the day, I think that I did what any man should have.  While maybe the majority of the population doesn’t have that same mindset, that doesn’t mean I did anything great. I just did what I should have done.”

You done good!

Good job Vincent Crivelli.  When action was needed, you acted.    You have what it takes, and you didn’t turn away in the face of danger.  Unlike Brian Williams, your story is true.

But next time Vince, carry a gun.  Alabama is gun friendly with concealed carry allowed.

A firearm is the ultimate equalizer, and your right as an American citizen