Michael Mercer holds a bottle of pepper spray that would be used in the civilian model. It comes with locking mechanisms to ensure it is not accidentally triggered. Chance Viles / American Journal

Retired Gorham Police Patrolman Mike Mercer’s invention gives Tennessee trucker Sharae Moore some peace of mind when she’s on the road.

If anyone tries to rob Moore or attack her in a fit of road rage, she can shoot pepper spray at them from a device mounted on the exterior of her truck while she is safely inside.

“Being a minority on the road, I have some safety concerns. It does make me feel better and safer on the road,” said Moore, who is Black. “If someone is trying to get in, I use the same rule as we use in the house. I’m going to protect myself by any means necessary.”

Sharae Moore says she’s a fan of the F3 Defense device on her truck. She runs SHE Trucking, an organization that connects women truckers and provides them with training. Courtesy photo / Sharae Moore

Other truckers in Moore’s company are using Mercer’s patent-pending pepper spray device as well, and Mercer, also a former chemical specialist for the Mesa, Arizona, Police Department, is working on a similar model for passenger cars. His company, F3 Defense, is looking to raise about $50,000 to finish manufacturing a civilian and police model.

Moore said in an interview with the American Journal that the F3 Defense protection is important in the trucking industry because it is a dangerous field. She worries about getting robbed while at a standstill in traffic, road rage and other truckers.

Studies by trucking website CDL Life found that over 20% of truckers experience crime on the road, and 40% of that crime is violent in nature.

Moore says she prefers the F3 Defense pepper spray for protection over guns or other weapons. Guns can accidentally discharge and weapons like knives would require her to get out of her truck to defend herself.

Mercer hopes that with reaching his fundraising goals, he can offer the same protection to civilian cars or police cars. That removable model will would be mounted on the top of a car for 360-degree sprays. The truck model sprays only through the doors to hit someone trying to enter the truck.

“When someone is surrounding or attacking your car, you had two options, sitting there and hoping it doesn’t go bad, or driving off and potentially killing someone,” Mercer said. “Most people don’t have it in them to kill.”

The F3 Defense system’s “third option” is “less than lethal” and a driver doesn’t even have to roll down his or her window, he said.

The pepper spray canister for the civilian model will have a locking mechanism to ensure against accidental sprays. The spray itself will be exclusive to F3 Defense, infused so that traces of it can be seen with black lights. That way, if police are looking for a suspect who was sprayed with it, they’d be easier to find.

“It’s not just about putting this in their hands, we provide training, seminars, and teach people to be aware of their surroundings,” Mercer said.

Click here to donate to Mercers campaign, or visit www.f3defense.com.

 

Mike Mercer of Windham shows the civilian model of his pepper sprayer, which would appear as a fin on the car’s roof. Chance Viles / American Journal

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