NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK — On Tuesday night at the 49th Street subway station in Midtown, New York City, a 43-year-old man named John Rote fired warning shots to prevent a robbery. The incident began when a panhandler, later identified as 40-year-old Matthew Roesch, threatened to steal a woman’s purse unless she gave him money. Rote intervened, telling Roesch to leave the woman alone and fired a few shots without injuring anyone. He then fled the scene.
Police arrested Rote the following day, charging him with criminal possession of a weapon, reckless endangerment, criminal possession of a firearm, and menacing. Roesch was also apprehended and charged with attempted robbery. His criminal history includes a previous arrest for theft at the Times Square-W. 42nd St. subway station. Rote has no prior arrests.
While Rote may have had good intentions, firing warning shots to stop a mugging in a busy subway isn’t a responsible thing to do. Not only that, but Rote reportedly told police he ditched the gun in a river after the shooting, clearly indicating he knew he wasn’t supposed to be in possession of it, and/or indicating that he knew what he did was unacceptable.
Don’t get me wrong, I think that folks in NYC should be able to carry firearms, but that’s not the law of the land in that part of the Country, and there’s a reason why some people move out of those areas and into places that respect our right to carry.
In conclusion, while Rote’s motives were clearly of good intention, the execution was reckless and sloppy. As responsible gun owners, by definition we must abide by the laws of the land and take appropriate action during our day-to-day lives.