Florida Bartender Recognized For Heroism In Subduing Armed Assailant

A Florida bartender has been recognized by the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office for his heroism at work in taking down an armed assailant attacking a woman.

David Ghiloni was working his regular shift at Smiles Nite Club in Palm Coast on November 20 when things suddenly became very dangerous. He saw a man suddenly attack a woman, holding her in a headlock. He did not know immediately that the attacker also had a gun pointed at the victim.

Other bar patrons got involved in helping to subdue the attacker, who began to fire in random directions wantonly.

The suspected assailant, Connor Anderson, has been charged with several crimes, including the illegal discharge of a firearm, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and possession of a firearm under the influence of intoxicants. He is being held in the county jail on a $542,000 bond.

Anderson was reportedly upset because he could not find his keys and brought a gun into the bar, where he attacked the female victim. As Ghiloni took Anderson down, the attacker got off six shots. Amazingly, no one was seriously injured in the incident.

Ghiloni said that he has been surprised and overwhelmed with the attention his selfless act has attracted. He said that “being a nobody and then all of a sudden being recognized by the sheriff, the chief, and really the whole Palm Coast community” was completely unexpected.

Ghiloni told reporters that the video made everything look slow, but “in the moment everything’s moving so fast.” He added: “I was protecting her. I didn’t even know there was a gun involved until I did tackle the guy.”

The young bartender added, “Now that I see the video and I slow it down, I can see how bad it could have turned out.”

The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office recognized Ghiloni with a lifesaving award.

Sheriff Rick Staly said he is “honored to be able to recognize David who so selflessly helped those in need and put his own life in harm’s way to protect others.”

Staly added: “This courageous act of protecting the female and fighting off this shooter without a doubt saved lives that night.”

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