Or something like that. Now most people, if robbed at gunpoint might call 911 and be done with it. Let John Law take it from there. But if you want to ask the question, “what do you get when you cross a retired Marine from Texas with a pistol-wielding punk?” you get this story from the Houston Chronicle, via TheBlaze.com . . .
A man who robbed a 72-year-old Texas business owner at gunpoint is dead after the owner, a former Marine, jumped in his car and chased after him, ramming him against a metal fence.
I’d quibble with one thing in that story. My ex’s son is a U.S. Marine. From him, I learned that there’s no such thing as a “former” Marine. Retired, okay. But once a Marine, always a Marine.
The details are pretty straightforward. An armed robber forces his way into a man’s office, puts a gun to his head and demands money, screaming “You’re dead!” He takes the contents of Kenneth Kobobel Sr.’s brother’s wallet, then Kobobel hands him a $20. Not satisfied, the gunman frisks Kobobel, and discovers a roll of bills totally $800.
NOW the robber is really angry.
“You lied to me! You’re dead!,” sez the bandit, before hitting the 72-year-old in the head with the gun (I believe the term would be “pistol-whipping”) and fleeing, but not before admonishing the victims to wait to call 911.
Kobobel calls 911, then runs outside and asks neighbors “Which way did he go?” Just then, his son pulls up in his car. The Senior Kobobel jumps in his own vehicle and gives chase.
Kobobel said he spotted the robber in a strip mall parking lot, and when the robber saw Kobobel coming he raised his gun and fired at least once. Kobobel rammed him with his car, then did so again when the man prepared to fire again.
Now before we devolve into the obvious post-mortem, armchair quarterbacking of this series of events, lemme make one or two things perfectly clear: God Bless Our Marines, both active duty and retired. If more people had the guts this Marine had, we’d have a lot less violent crime in America. I’d also like to point out that, in the heat of the moment, people do a lot of things they might not consider, sans that adrenalin rush. Oh, and I’m always happy to see a scumbag get what he deserves.
Having said that…
Let’s be realistic here. There are a number of problems with this case. First and foremost, Kobobel took an enormous risk, going after a violent, armed criminal, even armed with his car. I mean, a some-3,605 lb. (give-or-take) Lexus is one Hell of a blunt-force weapon, but facing down a guy with a gun is not necessarily your wisest move.
Secondly, I’m no lawyer, nor am I an expert on Castle Doctrine, but my understanding is that your rights to open a can o’ whup-ass on some punk pretty much end when they leave and your life is no longer in danger.
So while I doubt seriously that any Assistant D.A. who likes continued employment prospects or who might cherish the thought of a career in Texas politics would be stupid enough to press a case against him, Kobobel did take some Big Tex-sized chances going all Charles Bronson on this guy.
He’s probably better off that the guy took a shot at him, and he can likely justify raming him a second time (!) since the idiot went for his gun again, but sheesh – if it was me in the car, I think I might be looking at hard time for wasting the punk.
And then again, what if, in the heat of the moment and an adrenalin-fueled desire to get the guy, he found the wrong guy? I wasn’t there, and it may well be that Kobobel had the guy’s face, clothing, and such burned into his retina. But I’ve been in enough high-pressure situations before to tell you that your recall in such times can be anywhere between dead-on to D.O.A.
Then there’s the whole thing about “what if one of the victims had a concealed weapon and had the opportunity to use it?” Interesting question, but we’ll never know. Since no gun was mentioned, I doubt that Mr. Kobobel had a gun handy. He sounds like the kind of guy who would have used it without hesitation, had it been available and the opportunity presented itself.
Of course, Self-Defense 101 is to use whatever weapons you have at hand. I suppose that extends to a set of car keys, but I’m thinkin’ Mr. Kobobel is lucky he lives in the Lone Star State.
Kobobel got out of his car and looked around and didn’t see the man, asking residents of the nearby apartment complex if they’d seen him run by. They pointed to the robber lying nearby in the parking lot.
Kobobel, a former lawyer who lives in Spring, walked over and removed the gun from the man’s reach, and saw that he was seriously injured.
“I thought it was good that I caught this jerk who’d robbed me,” Kobobel said, “but what I didn’t like was that this man was laying there and his life was ebbing away. I’m a Christian, and I wouldn’t want to see anybody die.”
Police have yet to release the robber’s identity.
Kobobel, who owns the small strip mall on Little York that houses his business office, a church and driving school, said he’s “emotionally tore up” about the man’s death.
“I would have given him the $800 if he’d still be alive,” he said. “I didn’t want anybody to die on my account.”
The moral? Well, for the robber, like Eli Wallach’s character Tuco said to the One-Armed Man in The Good, The Bad and The Ugly said, “When you have to shoot, shoot. Don’t talk.”
For Mr. Kobobel, only a fool attorney has himself for a client. Get yourself a good one, until after you know the D.A.’s not gonna go after you. And stop talking. ASAP. Police haven’t cleared you yet, and they are looking into the story that there may have been more than one car involved in ramming the dead perp. Just because they say there are no charges pending, doesn’t mean they won’t light you up later.
Oh, and as far as we know, neither the Brady Bunch nor Mayor Bloomberg have called for the banning of assault vehicles.