Self Defense Warning Shots, In N.Y. You Will Go To Jail If You Defend Yourself Or Some-one Else


A man with no criminal history who saved a woman from being attacked by a homeless man has been arrested and charged by the Manhattan DA with criminal possession of a firearm and reckless endangerment because he fired a warning shot, stopping the assault.

According to eyewitness accounts and security footage, John Rote, 43, drew a pistol and began firing shots after witnessing a man trying to steal a woman's purse.

The suspect in the attempted robbery, Matthew Roesch, 49, was also arrested. Roesch was running scheme by which he would hold an emergency gate open to let riders avoid paying fees, and asked for money in return. Around 9 p.m. Tuesday, Roesch tried to grab a 40-year-old woman's purse who refused to pay him, before Rote scared him off with his gun.

This incident raises questions about the adequacy of law enforcement in New York's transit system. With crime rates on the rise and insufficient policing across major cities in America, ordinary citizens like Rote feel compelled to take matters into their own hands.

Officials, who aren't protecting vulnerable citizens, are pissed.

"I’ve looked at the video," said New York City Transit President Richard Davey at a news conference Wednesday. "It’s, I would say unusual. He sort of looks very calm, pulls out a gun, fires two shots, calmly puts the gun back in the bag and walks away."

"The point is, that’s not what we need from anybody in this system," Davey continued.

Mr. Rote is originally from West Virginia and has ties out of state, but no criminal history, according to the Manhattan District Attorney's Office. His attorney did not respond to a request for comment.

“Thank goodness nobody was hurt here—but what happened was outrageous, reckless, and unacceptable," Mr. Davey said in a statement released after Rote was arrested. -AP

The incident comes months after a Marine Corps veteran was arrested for putting a deranged homeless man in a chokehold on a New York City subway, which led to the man's death.

Daniel Penny, the marine, says he didn't intend to take Jordan Neely's life, but he had to protect the frightened passengers after Neely threatened to kill people on the train.

“The man stumbled on, he appeared to be on drugs, the doors closed, and he ripped his jacket off and threw it down at the people sitting next to me at my left,” Penny said in the video.

“I was listening to music at the time, and I took my headphones out to hear what he was yelling,” he continued.

“The three main threats that he repeated over and over was ‘I’m going to kill you,’ ‘I’m prepared to go to jail for life,’ and ‘I’m willing to die.'”

Penny, who stands at 6 feet 2 inches tall, said he was intimidated by Neely, who was bigger than him and was shouting in the subway riders’ faces.

“There’s a common misconception that Marines don’t get scared. We’re actually taught, one of our core values is courage, and courage is not the absence of fear but how you handle fear,” he said.

“I was scared for myself, but I looked around, I saw women and children. He was yelling in their faces saying these threats. I just couldn’t sit still.”

*  *  *

"For evil to succeed, it is only necessary for good men to do nothing." -Edmund Burke




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