Rockers vs. robbers
Guitarist Aron Scott dodged a bullet, but he still wants his gear back
Aron Scott was winding down after a late set that his hard-rock band the Grumpy had played at the Owl Club in Roseville. It was close to 4 a.m. on Sunday, June 3. Scott, the Grumpy guitarist, had just dropped a friend off in North Highlands and pulled into a gas station near Madison Avenue and I-80 for a pack of smokes. In the back of the car were the tools of his trade, including two electric guitars and an amplifier.
He didn’t notice the guy in another car, checking him out as he pulled in.
Having replenished his smokes, Scott eased the old Volvo onto the road and stopped at a red light. When he looked to his left through the open driver’s side window, he saw the gun.
“The guy just started shouting, ‘Get out! Get the fuck out!’” Scott told SN&R. He complied, but the robber kept the revolver pressed to the side of Scott’s head.
“I could kill you right now and nobody would do a fucking thing about it,” the man shouted. Indeed, when Scott looked around, though he was just a few feet from homes, he was all alone with the man shouting at him.
All the while, the gunman steered Scott around by shoving the barrel of the gun against his head, leaving a circular imprint on his skin. “He was right up on me. He stank like weed and body odor. I hate weed,” Scott explained.
Into the robber’s car went the blue Dean “Dimebag” guitar with the lightening bolts. In went the black Les Paul with the green flames. In went the Line 6 amplifier, the pedals and cords, amp and guitar stands. As Scott loaded his gear into the other man’s car, he got several good looks at the robber’s license plate.
Once the loading was finished, the man instructed Scott to get back in his car and, “Get the fuck out of here!” As Scott slammed his foot against the gas pedal, “I just heard, Pop! Pop! Crash! He was trying to kill me.” Later, Sacramento County sheriff’s deputies would find one bullet lodged in the driver’s side backrest of the Volvo.
As he sped away, Scott called 911 on a cell phone and gave the dispatcher his account of the robbery and the suspect vehicle’s license-plate number. Deputies responded quickly, and within an hour Scott was summoned by detectives to a location not far from where the robbery took place.
“Here’s the thing: He robbed me literally 50 yards from his own house,” Scott said of the suspect, who the sheriff’s department identified as Michael Talford.
According to the Sacramento district attorney’s office, Talford is being charged with assault, second-degree robbery, attempted murder, three separate violations of gun laws and resisting arrest.
When Scott’s mom, Enez, heard from her son early that morning, “My first thought was, ‘He’s alive.’ His first thought was, ‘All my stuff is gone.’”
That’s because somewhere in the two hours between Scott’s gear being removed from his car and Talford’s arrest, all of the tools of Scott’s trade were spirited away in the night.
“[The deputies] told me they searched everywhere they could legally search, in two apartments,” Scott said. “Between 4 and 6 a.m., all that stuff was just gone.”
Talford is still in custody awaiting a June 28 court date. But the alleged robber isn’t disclosing the whereabouts of Scott’s gear.
The Grumpy played a show last Friday at the Roadhouse with a borrowed guitar and amp from a group of generous area musicians. As word got out about the robbery, several rockers have offered to loan Scott instruments, and to help keep an eye out for his stuff.
“My phone has just been ringing nonstop,” Scott said.
He hopes his gear will surface by the time the Grumpy plays the Whiskey A Go-Go on Hollywood’s Sunset Strip next month. So far it’s not looking good. “This asshole knows where my stuff is, and he’s not saying.”