Everyday Defense: Criminal Picks the Wrong Targets

In this installment of Everyday Defense, a criminal picked the wrong target and ultimately made a mistake.

Everyday Defense: Criminal Picks the Wrong Targets

Most violent criminals act in the spur of the moment and don’t usually plan their crimes very thoroughly. The now-deceased Frank Taylor is a prime example of that. Like many criminals, Taylor had a history of crimes that range from drug-related charges to theft. But when he tried to rob a woman at gunpoint, he encountered someone who was well-trained in personal defense.  

Mid-summer in Glendale, Arizona, about 1 a.m. — a 4-foot, 11-inch tall woman walked to a Circle K gas station near her house with her sister to buy a cold soda. As they were leaving, Taylor decided he would attempt to rob what he seemed to think was an easy target, the small-framed Carolann Miracle.  

Frank approached Carolann and asked her for a cigarette and a light. According to 911 tapes released to 12news.com, Taylor then pulled out a gun and pushed it against the woman’s neck, stating, “It’s loaded.” He then noticed she had a gun holstered on her hip. Carolann told KNXV News, “I think he thought, ‘she’s a little girl, maybe she doesn’t know how to use her weapon'.”

But she did. She absolutely did.

Miracle told ABC15, “I was scared, at first. I thought, ‘Am I really getting robbed?’” Then a quick-thinking Carlolann dropped her soda, creating a split-second, life-saving distraction that allowed her to release her holstered firearm and shoot. The bullet entered Frank’s stomach, causing him to stagger and eventually fall to the ground. Carolann and her sister ran in the opposite direction.  

Once the sisters were safely home, they called 911. Carolann was shaken and unsure of what might happen next. From the 911 tapes released to 12news.com, she asked the dispatcher, “Am I going to go to jail for defending myself?”

The dispatcher replied, “That’s … I mean, I’m not going to say yes or no. Alright, officers are on their way to come and talk to you, okay? So, I mean, I’m glad you called. Okay and you always have every right to defend yourself.”

Officer Tiffany Smith of the Glendale Police Department informed AZfamily.com that, “Miracle has been fully cooperating with detectives. During her interviews with her as well with other witness it was reported that the decedent attempted to rob Miracle with a handgun.”  

Surveillance video from the gas station helped confirm the order of events.  

As for Taylor, paramedics treated him at the scene. He was later transported to a local hospital where he died from his injuries. 

Carolann returned to the scene of the incident with a heavy heart. ABC15 quoted her as saying, “I feel bad, I didn’t mean to kill him. I feel bad for his mom. I feel bad because I just found out that he has a one-week-old baby. I didn’t mean to do it, but I had to protect myself.”

Public records do not indicate that Miracle was charged with any crime in Maricopa County relating to the incident.  


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