Gun Hero of the Day: Donald Rush

A hero with a gun came to the aid of two other good Samaritans in capturing a violent would-be armed robber in Seminole, Florida Sunday. Donald Rush, 40, visiting from Pennsylvania, accessed his gun and ended the mayhem without firing a shot.

Sometimes bad guys, looking down the muzzle of a firearm, have just never had things explained to them like that before. In this case, police say Bobby Martin Watson, 49, of St. Petersburg ended his violent struggle, but not until after he’d stabbed two other unarmed good Samaritans moments before.

It began with the original victim sitting in her Toyota Highlander in a Publix parking lot. Unaware of her surroundings, Watson approached, intent on taking her purse. She fought the thief and Watson allegedly stabbed her a couple of times for her troubles.

That’s when Christopher McMann tried to help. Watson stabbed him, and then Travis Jones too, as he confronted Watson.

That’s when our Gun Hero of the Day showed up. Armed.

Seeing the look of a determined gun owner and staring down a dark muzzle, Mr. Watson elected to surrender and wait for police to arrive. Nice work, Mr. Rush – and the good Samaritans.

The St. Pete Patch has the story:

McMann and Jones were able to tackle Watson, but deputies say Jones was stabbed in the abdomen during the struggle that ensued. Rush stepped in at that point, disarmed Watson and held him at gunpoint until deputies arrived, the agency said.

Lynn, McMann and Jones all suffered non-life-threatening injuries and were taken to a local hospital for treatment.

As for Watson, he was booked into the Pinellas County Jail after receiving medical clearance. He faces armed robbery and three counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon charges. Watson remained in jail Monday.

The local ABC station covered it in brief, complete with some dramatic footage.

Taking on a violent suspect armed with a knife empty-handed requires a healthy dose of bravery – or foolishness. In this case, one of the heroes talked with WFLA.

When News Channel 8 spoke with Jones, he told us the doctor said the knife’s five-inch blade landed just millimeters from his heart.

He said he hadn’t realized Watson stabbed him until deputies told him he was bleeding.

Jones said he was the only person who got the suspect down on the ground and that it was actually Jones who disarmed Watson by knocking the knife out of his hands.

Thankfully the heroic Mr. Jones’ family still has him. It could have turned out much differently if it had not been for a good guy with a gun.

26 Responses to Gun Hero of the Day: Donald Rush

  1. Good for him. I mean, if I’d just observed this guy stabbing a couple of people, I would have probably shot but who knows if there were bystanders nearby, etc. Good results.

    “That’s when Christopher McMann tried to help. Watson him, and then Travis Jones too, as he confronted Watson…”

    Think you’re missing a word here.

    • “… if I’d just observed this guy stabbing a couple of people, I would have probably shot …”

      The same thought crossed my mind. If an attacker is in the process of slashing/stabbing people, I am probably going to err on the side of caution and pull the trigger.

      It gets dicey if:
      (a) The attacker just stabbed three people.
      (b) The attacker still has the knife in hand.
      (c) The attacker has not surrendered.
      (d) The attacker appears to still be intent on stabbing people.
      (e) The attacker is within 20 feet of you.
      (f) The attacker is neither advancing toward you nor moving away.
      (g) The attacker is not advancing toward anyone else, either.
      Under these extremely narrow set of circumstances, it would be a difficult call whether or not pulling the trigger would be righteous.

      • “… I am probably going to err on the side of caution and pull the trigger.”

        Yeah, but keep in mind, Hannibal has an extra layer of ‘insulation’ the majority of us *don’t* have in being LE.

        Would his qualified immunity follow him off-duty?

        • Usually, yes. Especially because this would be a defense of others situation. Self defense as an off-duty officer is supposedly the same as for everyone else, so we were told in the academy. I have a feeling that we are more likely to be seen as justified, which certainly isn’t fair.

        • This is a NO-BRAINER – multiple victims, shoot the perp to neutralize him so you can provide aid to the victims!

          Dead perp, the hot asphalt becomes a NON-ISSUE AND saves tax dollars!

  2. Here is an interesting question …

    It is commonplace that good Samaritans or police order an attacker to lay face down on the ground. Note the particulars of this situation:
    — the “ground” was asphalt
    — it was afternoon
    — it was Summer
    — it was Florida
    — that asphalt was probably 140+ degrees Fahrenheit.
    Once an attacker has surrendered, how can it be right ordering him/her to lay down on a surface that is going to cause serious burns on a large portion of their body?

    Don’t get me wrong, I have no love for violent attackers. And if they are fighting against you and get pinned to the asphalt in the process, too bad. But if they voluntarily stop their attack and surrender, we should not be ordering them to sustain a serious injury.

    Look at it this way: there is no way that we could righteously order someone who just surrendered to put half their body into a 140 degree boiler for several minutes. How can it be proper to order them to press half of their body in contact with a 140 degree surface for several minutes?

    • Can not trust a criminal to remain compliant, sometimes is even fake so they can attack again. This pile of rubbish just stabbed 3 people, one almost fatally. Maybe (probably not) the branding from the pavement will be a reminder.

      • Epoch270,

        I have an idea: how about you go out to a nice black stretch of asphalt somewhere around 4:00 p.m. on a day in late July when the outdoor temperature is 93 degrees and tell me how long you can press your entire body, wearing nothing but shorts and a t-shirt, against that asphalt.

        On one occasion I had to fix something on a medium colored (nowhere near black) shingle roof which required pressing the side of my thigh against the shingles for a few minutes. It caused a mild burn on my leg which wasn’t pleasant … and those shingles were nowhere near the temperature (and had nowhere near the heat capacity) of asphalt during a Summer afternoon in Florida.

        I ask a serious question for a simple serious reason: it may not be realistic to expect compliance when compliance requires placing your body on an extremely hot surface for several minutes and suffering first degree burns on a large portion of your body. Alternate methods of compliance, such as kneeling (which limits heat exposure to your toes and knees — something that is probably doable) with your hands behind your head may be prudent.

        • Did anyone try to steal Mr. Watson’s purse containing any number of things vital to his daily existence? Was Mr. Watson stabbed several times thereby risking his very life? I’m pretty sure hot pavement won’t cause anyone to bleed to death. Sounds to me like Mr. Watson was treated far, far better than he was treating those around him. F#ck his discomfort.

        • Wow. Let me guess. You are one of the many bleeding heart liberals who has found a new found interest in guns because CNN told you the Russians are going to invade.

          This guy STABBED three innocent people in the commission of a felony crime….. and you are worried about his feelings and well being as he is held until police arrived. You are everything that is wrong with this country.

    • I worded my question badly. Is it true that the cops have little presence in response to the white supremacist protesters vs their presence to BLM protesters? And do the white supremacists have a history of getting violent? We know most BLM protests will have police present since they are known to actively encourage mayhem.

      • Cops should have left alone those who were part of the prearranged and permitted demonstration and arrested all the other protesters, who did not request nor obtain a permit. Otherwise, why would anyone apply for a permit?

    • You’re right. That’s torture.

      He should have shot him, and then allowed him to lay (lie?) on the asphalt while he bled out.

  3. I don’t know what you are getting at here, but I don’t think that black protesters are the same people that stab women when trying to steal thier purse. Someone that does things like that are bottom of the barrel, out for themselves and thier next fix, only. They are not cerebral enough to think about politics.

  4. So the criminal didn t just take the gun off him and shoot him with It? The experts tell us that’s what happens 100 percent of the time.

    Since he didn t plug him we’ll have to deal with the criminal again when he gets out.

  5. We have already lost when our private property can’t be defended.
    If the purse owner had a gun and shot the thief, how many people would support charging her???

    I understand in Texas you can use lethal force to protect your neighbors property. That is what Joe Horne did, and it’s all on the 911 tape.
    It would be safer for society if the criminal who is willing to stab a victim, be shot for his criminal acts.

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