USF student walking cross country saves himself with firearm

USF student completes cross-country walking odyssey | Breaking Tampa Bay, Florida and national news and weather from Tampa Bay Online and The Tampa Tribune |

TAMPA — Long before he stumbled onto Laguna Beach, Calif., before he was nearly mugged by a street gang in Albuquerque, N.M. and way before he was rousted by the cops in Amarillo, Texas, Harrison Milanian thought to himself: “What the heck am I doing? I could die out here.”

But he didn’t. He braved desert hail storms that ripped up his tent, endured quirky looks from passers-by and withstood a myriad of other obstacles on his walk from Tallahassee to the sparkling Pacific Ocean, emerging victorious in his pilgrimage, a better person for the effort.

In Albuquerque, N.M., he was approached by a half-dozen members of a street gang, who began yelling at him to get off their sidewalk. They got belligerent, refusing to let him pass. “They just exploded in anger,” he said. He was reluctant to say what exactly happened next.

“I have a concealed weapons permit,” was all he would say, “And I took care of the situation. I let them in on a little secret. I was carrying.”

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