Gay man risks being shot by armed robber to save his Louis Vuitton bag
A gay man that was involved in an attempted robbery in Michigan on Monday has made headlines after he refused to hand his beloved Louis Vuitton bag over to his assailant.
Jerad Kluting was walking down the streets of Holland Township, Michigan, around 5pm on Monday when a man armed with a gun and wearing a bandana over his face approached him and demanded he handed over his bag.
“It happened very fast. In one motion he took the gun out of his waist belt and with the other hand put up a bandana over his mouth and pointed, was like, ‘Give me your bag,’” Kluting said, sharing his experience with local news outlet WoodTV8.
Kluting refused to hand his possession, saying: “You’re not getting my Louis Vuitton. I worked very hard for this and this bag I’ve had forever and it means a lot to me.” That’s when his attacker allegedly fired a first warning shot.
“I wasn’t about ready to relinquish it to some thug that was going to demand it from me,” said Kluting.
The assailant fired two more shots, but Kluting still refused to hand him the bag and decided to fight it out.
While the two first shots were warning shots, the third aimed to kill, according to Kluting.
The bag, which costs $1,700, holds a special meaning to the man.
Kluting, who has been out as a gay man since he was 14, told PinkNews: ” I didn’t do it for just the Louis Vuitton – I did it because I wasn’t going to be another victim.”
Kluting first saw the bag at a time where he couldn’t afford it, and tasked himself with saving up in order to buy it.
“It means a lot to me,” he told WoodTV8. “It represents me. I wasn’t about to relinquish my personal property.”
Kluting had just moved to Holland Township from Chicago and was shocked to have been robbed in the small town.
Shortly after the altercation, a police deputy stationed nearby recognised a vehicle matching the description of the attacker and the man was arrested. Police found a stolen handgun in his possession.
The assailant, identified as 21 year old Christian Steven Bracamontes, has been formally charged.
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By his own admission, Kluting was very lucky.
“As my grandmother would say, if you’re born to hang, you’ll never drown,” he said.
Resisting an armed robber is extremely dangerous, and the police encourages people to give up their possessions if they find themselves attacked. However, Kluting doesn’t regret his decision.
“I got my bag. He can pry it out of my cold dead hands,” said the defiant victim.
Robberies are common in Michigan, according to a report by the Michigan State Police.
7,116 people reported muggings or theft in 2016. That same year, at least 400 robberies took place in Michigan per month, with August counting the highest number of incidents with 752.
Handguns are often robbers’ weapon of choices.