This defensive gun use, which occurred on July 26 in Milwaukee, raises a few questions. Although it starts out looking completely justified, the second part of the confrontation is likely what got the CCW permit holder charged with reckless endangerment.
The altercation was captured by a gas station surveillance camera. Here’s the video with some clarifying information below it. What do you think – is the charge reasonable?
According to TMJ4, the man on the bike is 33-year-old Thomas Chojnacki, who was carrying a gun legally at the time. His assailant is a 21-year-old who hasn’t been identified. The video starts with the attacker tailing Thomas, who is navigating away on his bike. Before Thomas can get far, the attacker jumps on top of him, knocks him over, and starts beating him. According to Thomas, the attacker was fighting to disarm him.
“He was determined to get that gun, and I know that if he would’ve got that gun, he would’ve killed me without a second thought,” Thomas said when interviewed.
The two men run out of the frame until 0:35, when Thomas is shown drawing his gun on the younger man. He walks around the parking lot with it pointed at the attacker for a while before they end up near the bike again. Strangely, Thomas hits the 21-year-old on the back of the head with his gun.
The younger man then picks something up off the ground near the bicycle. In the interview, Thomas implies that it may have been his wallet, but it’s not entirely clear. At that point, Thomas shoots the other man in the gluteus.
“I don’t understand why he wouldn’t stop,” Thomas said. “When he grabbed my wallet, the only thing I could think of was my family and what would happen if he found out where I lived.”
Both men were arrested and taken into custody. Criminal charges for the 21-year-old are still pending while Thomas has been charged with reckless endangerment. Penny for your thoughts?
Likely to be charged. He follows the perp around with his gun on him. You’re in the clear, grab your bike and leave.
Should have killed him. The perp struttin around the parking lot with a gun on him looks like typical gang bangin hoodrat.
The only thing he should be charged for is dumping the dreg onto the tax payers.
Moral of the story is, as my CCP instructor says, “The Secret Service and Israeli Security use profiling because IT WORKS”
Around blacks never relax.
Hmmm… tough call. Thomas should have left once be got the attacker to disengage. Or put the scum down after he drew. You cross a very definitive threshold once you draw a weapon on someone, either be prepared to use it or just leave it at home.
However, I have no sympathy for someone getting the shit kicked out of them if they start a fight. That’s what happens in nature if you can’t finish what you start.
I did laugh that he Forest Gumped him though…
Whadiya bet the perp has a felony record like our “McGlocky” friend from Clearwater, FL?
LOL….I saw that the first day the story broke. “Gon be out .. an we gon partyyyy!”
He’s got one >>>(1)<<< Facebook friend. LOL!
Does anyone have a link showing that the attacker in Clearwater had a violent past or criminal record before he pushed the man to the ground? The press is giving him the Martin Treatment and only focusing on the victim of the push.
First 2 felony charges were for Aggravated Domestic Battery and Resisting an Officer with Violence. The victim declined to cooperate so the DomBat charge was no info’d but he was convicted on the Resisting charge(felony). Never did any state prison time, but at least a 9 month sentence in county jail for one of the drug charges.
Other felony convictions for sale and possession of cocaine, and sale of counterfeit drugs, a hit and run,Felony fleeing and eluding, DWSLR, no insurance, various driving charges, etc.
I’ll try to dig up the link to the Pinellas County Clerk of Court.
Well, his facebook profile pic shows him wearing an orange jumpsuit, if that’s any indication.
Once he drew the pistol he should have shot the perp in the face and turned his head into a canoe.
But, that’s just me
You’re correct. If you draw a gun, it must be for a sufficient reason. Once drawn, it must be used immediately. Otherwise, the victim can be charged with brandishing a gun, or, as in this case, with assault.
No, you are wrong and giving terrible advice. A gun is not like a mystical sword that needs to be bloodied before being put away. Don’t convince people to end up getting charged with manslaughter because they’re afraid of being charged with ‘brandishing.’
Florida’s laws, in particular, were specifically changed so that non-lethal force with a firearm, such as drawing or firing a warning shot, can be protected as justifiable if the circumstances warrant them.
Point taken. Never shoot a perp in the ass. What do you think his head is for?
Law or no law, some people just need killing. I ride my bike to work. If somebody knocks me off my ride, they’re getting shot. No hesitation. No waiting.
I think that is the biggest problem in this case. You would have pulled shot and been in the clear. You wouldn’t have followed the guy around for 15 seconds, hit him in the back of the head, and then shot as he was trying to get away from you. The first time they should know you have a gun is after the first shot rings out in my opinion.
There are many, many places where someone who shoots someone for pushing them off a bike is going to prison for a long time. A lot does come down to where your jury is being pulled from.
I do not, and would not, live there. In this case, he has been charged. I would hold out for a jury trial and plead not guilty, public defender. Betcha it would never come to trial, eventual charges dropped.
If he had fired immediately after drawing the pistol he may have been in the clear claiming self defense because the thug was still approaching him in a threatening manor after having attacked him once already. However once he pulled the firearm and the prep turned to retreat the threat was over. Firing after that was uncalled for and he should suffer the consequences.
The shooter/victim said he decided to shoot when the perp picked up his wallet, and he said he was worried about his home address being in the perp’s possession.
Probably not legal in Wisconsin, but he’d probably get a parade in his honor in Texas.
Does Wisconsin allow use of deadly force to stop someone in the commission of or fleeing from a felony? If so, then the defender would be in the clear.
Otherwise, assuming that the defender did not believe the attacker had a firearm, I do not believe the defender was in a situation where a reasonable person would believe that the attacker presented an imminent risk of death or grievous bodily harm. And that means the defender committed aggravated assault and battery, just as the attacker committed aggravated assault and battery.
Since both people committed aggravated assault and battery on each other, I figure it is “offsetting penalties” and both should go on their merry way. The attacker has hopefully learned his lesson and will not attack anyone any more. And the defender has hopefully learned his lesson and will not use unjustified deadly force any more.
If the prosecutor decides to go ahead with a case against the defender, the defender should go all the way to trial because he is almost guaranteed a hung jury and therefore no conviction.
I say the defender is almost guaranteed a hung jury because someone on a jury is going to decide that the attacker deserved a bullet in the a$$ and refuse to find the defender guilty.
Agree completely! Insist on jury trial, I doubt it would ever start, much less finish.
“Since both people committed aggravated assault and battery on each other, I figure it is “offsetting penalties” and both should go on their merry way.”
This would be in criminal court, not small claims (civil) court. Penalties are owed to society, not the two people involved.
So no “offsetting penalties” allowed.
It would be interesting if they spent time in the same cell, though.
I wouldn’t mind being on a jury for a case like this.
A prosecutor can retry a case that results in a hung jury. No double jeopardy is attached.
Law certainly allows prosecutors to retry a case that resulted in a hung jury. Nevertheless, prosecutors are reluctant to go a second time because there is a very good chance of a second hung jury.
Unless the prosecutor screwed up something the first time (that they can correct on a second trial) or the case is particularly “important”, prosecutors often quit after the first hung jury. At least that is my understanding.
35th and Silver Spring.
Bicyclist is going to be the only person in Milwaukee this year to face gun charges from DA Chisholm.
With regard to defensive gun use *during an attack*, why would anyone present a firearm and not use it? That thought does not make sense. Mistakes:
1) The perp seems to have disengaged (he left the immediate area) then **the DGUser followed**; why is he following the perp and leaving his bike?
2) As I see it, when the DGUser returned to his bike and the perp reengaged, this is the perfect time to present and discharge. Instead the initial victim presents the firearm, kicks the perp –who is ‘now’ aware of the firearm, and the DGUser wants to walk around (in public) and taunt/stalk the perp; with a firearm in his hand. Afterwards while the perp is clearly walking away (retreating), the DGUser decides to discharge the firearm. <– this is a huge series of mistakes.
NOTE: The initial victims interview (as seen in this article) stated —
“He was determined to get that gun, and I know that if he would’ve got that gun, he would’ve killed me without a second thought,”
Let's look at this statement … "He was determined to get that gun" The perp did not seem to know about the firearm until after it was presented. looking back even further, if the perp knew about the weapon –why did the perp leave (off camera), then return if he knew there was a darn good chance of being shot? Additionally, please do note the carry position when the DGUser draws, which looks like it's at 4:00. When they were on the ground, at what point could/did the perp see any portion of the firearm; and if he did, as previously stated, is he that dumb to reengage with a known armed individual? Sorry, for me it does not add-up.
NOTE #2: "and I know that if he would’ve got that gun,"
How anyone know what's a another persons is thinking? Assumptions and wishful thinking -do suck.
NOTE #3: About the wallet and finding out where he lives. I call BS on that as well. If anyone succeeds in following you home, you deal with it there; you are not a fortune teller.
The above is based 'only' on what I've read in this article 'here' at TTAG
What did I miss?
Will bite the jail time before I leave #3 open to chance.
I am not sure what you are getting at. I’d say it is obvious that the assailed fellow made errors in judgement, action, and maybe memory. Do you think he was also nefarious? I think it was likely he simply didn’t want the assailant to leave and get away with the crime, and perhaps his wallet. Also he knows he is in danger now and he is not wise enough not to talk about it. So he is not being inconsistent with the quality of his judgement. In my conversations with folks here and elsewhere, it seems many people envision drawing and hoping that will give them greater control over what happens without firing. Myself, like you, I have trouble envisioning drawing and not firing. I suspect that if it is dangerous enough to have to draw, it is also too dangerous not to fire.
“why would anyone present a firearm and not use it? That thought does not make sense.”
YOU dont make any sense
heres the relevant statute:
“Although intentionally pointing a firearm at another constitutes a violation of s. 941.20, under sub. (1) a person is privileged to point a gun at another person in self-defense if the person reasonably believes that the threat of force is necessary to prevent or terminate what he or she reasonably believes to be an unlawful interference. State v. Watkins, 2002 WI 101, 255 Wis. 2d 265, 647 N.W.2d 244, 00-0064.”
that is to say that here in wisconsin one doesnt necessarily have to discharge their firearm just because they present it in an altercation
so we got that goin for us…which is nice…
having said that the instructors at the concealed carry class for the most part agree and teach that if you do present it and the perp flees it is a pretty good idea to call the police anyway and file a report before somebody calls the police and files a report on you
i dont know what state youre from but im not so sure that your “i have to use it because i pulled it out” or “i pulled it out so i have to use it” mindset or worldview is a particularly good or smart way to go through life…carrying in wisconsin or not
im willing to bet there isnt a single state out of the 50 where youd be better off shooting somebody who clearly isnt a threat anymore vs pulling a gun out and the guy runs away and you reholster and go home
thats why the OODA loop is a LOOP in the first place
because it doesnt stop its supposed to keep on going
im sorry to have to say this but some of the comments on this blog arent a very good reflection on the gun community
particularly the ones that are analagous to “it dont matter what happens im going to shoot that fucker…probably did society a favor anyway”
I interpreted his statement as, and I paraphrase: if you aren’t in a situation dangerous enough to fire after drawing your weapon, then you shouldn’t be drawing it. I really dont see how getting pushed off your bike constitutes a deadly threat but some people are bitch made.
“I interpreted his statement as, and I paraphrase: if you aren’t in a situation dangerous enough to fire after drawing your weapon, then you shouldn’t be drawing it.”
My exact point.
No doubt he was initially in danger and did not draw the firearm, then began to follow the perp –after the perp disengaged–. If ‘in the victims mind’ he felt he was in danger why wasn’t the firearm drawn when he had the first opportunity and not wait for the sound of the second bell; returning to the bike?
Stop following people, which may be part of their plan to lead you to your certain doom.
I was not saying what the victim should or should not have done. The post was my response to the article and/or question(s) posted here on TTAG.
Nathan and Anonnymous,
The attacker did more than simply push the defender off of his bike. The defender fell to the ground and then the attacker also jumped on top of the defender and began repeatedly punching the attacker in the face/head. That is a credible, imminent threat of death or grievous bodily harm, just like it was in the Trayvon Martin attack.
As far as I can tell from the video, the defender managed to break free enough to pull his handgun — and that is what caused the attacker to back-off. Then, with gun in hand, the defender began following around the attacker. There is nothing illegal or wrong about following around the person who just attacked you. And there is nothing illegal or wrong about having a gun in your hand as you follow your attacker who just presented a credible imminent threat of death or grievous bodily harm a few seconds ago. (Remember, defenders frequently hold attackers at gunpoint until police arrive, without any legal repercussions, even though someone could easily argue that the attacker no longer presents a credible, imminent threat of death or grievous bodily harm.)
The only place where the defender may have gone wrong is at the very end of the video when the defender shot the attacker who was walking away. At that point the attacker no longer seems to present a credible, imminent threat of death or grievous bodily harm and using deadly force would not be legally justified.
Where I sit, guy deserved to be shot in the ass. From info here, I would not convict.
The entire point of having a firearm is to stop an attack on you that presents a credible, imminent threat of rape, grievous bodily harm, or death. Simply presenting a firearm without pulling the trigger successfully stops about 90% of all attacks. If you do nothing more than present a firearm and it stops the attack, that IS using it.
@ uncommon_sense …
QUOTE — The attacker did more than simply push the defender off of his bike. The defender fell to the ground and then the attacker also jumped on top of the defender and began repeatedly punching the attacker in the face/head. That is a credible, imminent threat of death or grievous bodily harm, just like it was in the Trayvon Martin attack.
REPLY — I agree.
QUOTE — As far as I can tell from the video, the defender managed to break free enough to pull his handgun — and that is what caused the attacker to back-off.
REPLY — On this paragraph, I do not agree. The first time I saw the initial victim present his firearm was after he returned to the bike with the perp following him post return. I never saw a firearm presentation before that point.
QUOTE — “There is nothing illegal or wrong about following around the person who just attacked you. And there is nothing illegal or wrong about having a gun in your hand as you follow your attacker who just presented a credible imminent threat of death or grievous bodily harm a few seconds ago. ”
REPLY — This is highly debatable, given the initial victim was ‘following’ another individual (in public) with a firearm while said individual, criminal or not, was walking away (retreating).
I’ll leave the rest alone.
The defender was not simply following some member of the public — the defender was following the CRIMINAL who just committed a felony on himself and who had not yet surrendered. We have every legal right to pursue a CRIMINAL who just attacked us in the hope of apprehending that criminal or being able to report the criminal’s location to police.
And I would argue that having a gun in hand (after you were legally justified to draw it in the first place) while pursuing your felony attacker is not illegal either, as long as you are not waiving your gun around or pointing it at people.
Disclaimer: I am not an attorney and the above is my opinion, NOT legal advice.
Correction for a typo …
NOTE #2: “and I know that if he would’ve got that gun,”
How does anyone know what a another person is thinking? Assumptions and wishful thinking -do suck.
I can’t fault the shooter for his concern of his ID being used to target his home. The punk already proved he isn’t afraid of attacking someone and isn’t afraid of being shot (because he didn’t run away with a firearm pointed at him).
I too would be afraid of the safety of my family if someone that violent learned my home address. Afraid that he would show up when I was not around to defend my family. Or bring his buddies and attack.
I think legally this attack will be broken down in tow parts. First part is where the man on the bike was attacked. If he could prove that he was in fear for his life then a shooting would have been justified at this point. However the attacker picks something off of the ground and starts to walk away. At this point he is no longer the attacker, in fact he walks past the man’s bike which would allow him to leave the situation. But since the “victim” begins to follow the “attacker” the roles reverse. The only thing is when the original “victim” became the “attacker” he was brandishing a deadly weapon so there is a good chance that his charges could be worse than the guy who started it. Never shoot a guy in the back because it is very hard to claim to be a victim when they are running away.
Nope. Perp was likely trying to get away with his stuff, including his wallet. I’m not sure if Milwaukee is one of these cities, but in many cities, if you resist a mugging or cause trouble for the hoodlums, they will try to find out where you live and make your life a living hell. People have been killed, just for saying they would testify to put someone’s relative in prison. If he let him get away, there’s no telling how many of this thug’s friends would be making a visit to Thomas’s friends.
Well, that sounds like a good reason to kill the punk, but he didn’t. I’m not seeing butt-shooting him changing anything.
The poor CRIMINAL sneaks up on the biker and knocks him to the ground and tries to rob him. He gets shot for his stupidity and now it’s the victims fault ? BOO [email protected]#$ING HOO for the dumb ass CRIMINAL and he’s lucky to be alive. I bet he’ll be standing a lot the next few weeks. I would love to be on that jury.
What would a union member, off- duty police officer do….?
Most of you commenting on this sound like total morons. Tough guys in your own minds that likely have never faced a life and death situation.
Just shut the hell up and stop pretending you have any actual experience at anything other than jerking off to a Jason Bourne movie.
We don’t need to have any experience to have an opinion. You sound like you’ve been hanging at the movies with PEE WEE HERMAN a little to much.
Oscar’s just mad because he lost his copies of the Bourne trilogy and he has seen Saving Private Ryan too many times.
Tell us about your narrow escapes from death oscar.
He should have Trayvon-ed the S.O.B.
Or mike browned the punk. Or TRABROWED the slimball.
I think if in the bikers position. Id have shot him 1st opportunity as I was being attacked. I don’t think Id chase him around with a drawn gun and then shoot after the initial attack. Not in the ass anyway.
But Im also a senior and handicapped so its not like Im able to chase him at all or would have.
My main reason at this point in my life to carry a gun is because Im unable to physically put up a fight anymore. So yah I think Id have shot him at the 1st opportunity when Id have been in the right.
Has the definition of a deadly threat dropped so low that a fist fight is fair game for shooting someone?
I see this more as a robbery and I am sick and tired of the perps being thought of as victims. Part of the reason motherfuckers keep doing shit like this is they think they’ll get away with it. The victim should not be prosecuted for jack shit…so there is that.
If someone assaults me without warning or cause, that is the behavior of a crazy person, and I fault no one for not wanting to see how deep the crazy runs. Not to mention more people are murdered with hands and feet than by rifles of any kind, let alone “assault rifles”.
Being shoved off a bike then attacked further is not the same as someone who’s pissed off at you for being a fan of the wrong sports team, dinging their door in the parking lot, or claiming you looked at their significant other the wrong way. While I can applaud people learning how to defend themselves with their own physical prowess, I don’t believe someone should be forced to take the risk of being overwhelmed, knocked unconscious, or potentially killed/paralyzed if the situation is clearly predatory in nature to begin with.
That being said, this appears to be a bad shoot, not because the real victim wasn’t ever at risk of grievous bodily harm, but because he shot the predator after that risk had passed. I can understand the fear of someone insane enough to walk around casually when a gun is pulled on them, but that’s for the police to sort out, not your own dispensation of justice in some sort of pre-crime determination.
Narhan: Yes, it is. #1 An assault is not a fight. #2 People have died from falling off of bycicles. #3 I am personally fairly frail Heart disease, blood thinners, a long list. Should I suffer head trauma enough to be checked for trauma, I will probably be bleeding inside my skull. If anyone assaults me,they are trying to kill me and I will shoot them.
Fistfights turn deadly more often than you know. Fists have been proven time and again to be deadly.
Particularly when one participant is a man and the other is a woman. like hundreds or thousands of times a year.
Nathan, I have to say “no”. But what was pictured here was not a fistfight. A fistfight has two or more willing participants commencing conflict resolution at the same time. One person attacking another from behind is assault and battery, and, yes, shooting him is a reasonable response. See?
The more I review this video the more I am leaning to believe –something else happened inside that store, that we are not seeing or hearing.
When the victim was on the ground being given the boot deadly force was justified. He could reasonably assume that he could suffer death, great bodily harm. When the suspect broke off the attack and ran away, without any of the victims property, that should have been the end of it. I know it sticks in your craw. It sticks in mine too, but that’s the truth of it.
And at 33 seconds, if I walk back to my bike and the guy I just ran off comes back for more, he’s getting it right then, two to the torso and one to the head. I’m not going to dance around the parking lot with him at that point.
Criminals are going to learn to moderate their attacks so the victim ends up either in doubt about how to proceed or facing charges of some type.
Perfect example of why you should carry and know how to use a firearm. I think he shot him in the butt to spare his life. There seems to be an uptick in violence from the Nocturnal Urbanites.
As he mounts his bike you can clearly see the pistol printing. You can see the perp try to disarm the victim first. When he fails to do so, he THEN knocks the victim off his bike and begins to continue his assault. Other than that, there’s really not a lot to go on to form a solid judgement. Looks like the victim does have some splainin’ to do though.
You can see a gun printing in that crappy video? Your eyes are better than mine then, I can barely make out the people.
The charges are legit. After the perp backs off there is zero legal excuse to follow him around. At that point the threat is OVER. But, human nature being what it is, he wanted some payback. Remember, at this point in time his head is ringing from being attacked. He’s rightly pissed off. But that has no legal effect.
That all said, what he should have done is put three quick ones into the hoods chest while they were on the ground. Then he would be in the right(legally), and the video would prove it. But he didn’t. So what he should do now is; refuse all plea bargains and go to a jury trial. Once a jury sees him shoot the perp in the ass, they will be laughing too hard to come back with a guilty verdict. Once one does something so cute and funny(and appropriate), even the sheeple on the average jury will like it. The judge might even get a smile out of it, but in secret, OFC.
Guy grabbed for the gun. Don’t ya wonder if he is a felon? How ’bout we enforce the law a bit? A lot of states have laws requiring you to prevent your gun from falling into the control of a felon, I’d have the defense bring that up, too. Shooter screwed up, but is not prosecutable.
Why shoot him in the ass when he has a perfectly good head to aim for?
But like he said the guy picked up his wallet and he didn’t want the perp to know where he and his family lived…so there is that.
That dude saw him printing in the store and followed him out in order to snatch that gun. You can see it bulging out in the 4 oclock position when he gets on the bike. The criminal clearly reaches specifically for this area when he comes up behind him. Guy attempts to grab your gun, then repeatedly punches you in the head while you are down. That dude is getting shot if that was me…but shot right then and not after chasing him around.
Thomas Chojnacki said he spent three days in jail before the decision was made not to charge him. The district attorney confirmed for FOX6 News no charges would be filed.