''Don't Get Borned'' Pt. 2: Many more citizens who couldn't 'just drive away'
By Chad D. Baus
In Pt. 1 of the Reality Check for the Ohio Highway Patrol, we told you about Ohio Highway Patrol Capt. John Born expressing the OHP's opposition to any bill that would allow citizens their right to self-defense in an automobile.
"We do not want a loaded firearm readily accessible to the driver of a car,'' said Born.
When presented with the fact that a firearm is useless in a pinch if it's locked up, Born responded: "If there's a dangerous situation and you're in your car, you can drive off.''
What follows are read many, many more accounts of citizens who couldn't "just drive away" when they were attacked in their cars, or who, while driving, came to the aid of fellow human beings who were being attacked.
As you read the following accounts, please keep in mind how these situations would have been different had these citizens been attacked in Ohio.
Incident in Alabama termed 'self-defense'
MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- A Cherry Point Marine sergeant visiting family members here shot and killed a carjacker during a shootout in what police are calling a "definite case of self-defense."
Sgt. James C. Lowery, 22, a KC-130 Hercules flight mechanic for Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 252, is being treated for gunshot wounds to his face. His wife said from his hospital room Thursday at Baptist South Medical Center in Montgomery "that he is doing much better."
A family member said the bullet hit Lowery in the top left check and stopped near his voice box.
Montgomery City Police Department homicide detective Sgt. Scott Martino said Lowery was in his Chevrolet Suburban at a McDonald's drive-thru window Tuesday just before 10 p.m.
"Mr. Lowery was approached by a man brandishing a handgun," Martino said. "The assailant demanded money and Lowery's vehicle. As Mr. Lowery was getting out of the vehicle, he was shot in the face by the would-be carjacker."
After being shot in the face, Lowery managed to get his .45-caliber pistol from the vehicle and shoot the man.
"Mr. Lowery returned fire multiple times with his handgun, killing the assailant," Martino said.
The 45-caliber handgun Lowery was carrying was licensed and registered, according to police.
Police said the carjacker, Thaddeus Antone, 19, of Montgomery, Ala., died at the scene. Antone's small-caliber hand gun was not licensed or registered, according to police.
Police say evidence collected at the scene and interviews with a witness indicate that "it was clearly a case of self-defense."
Many Ohioans just don't have the luxury of just "driving off" when under attack. Had he been attacked in Ohio, Sgt. Lowery would have been totally defenseless - just another of the many persons in our state who have suffered under John Born's idea of self-defense.
Following are many other accounts of citizens who were able to defend themselves or those around them because they exercised their right to self-defense in an automobile.
Chronicle, Augusta, GA
After closing shop and stepping into his parked car one Saturday night, supermarket manager Edwin H. Atkins, 57, Augusta, Ga., was puzzled when his car refused to start. Sensing danger, he got out his cal. .32 revolver. As he did, a bandit hooded by a stocking shouted "This is a stickup!" and fired a shot past Atkins' head. Atkins fired 2 shots. The bandit collapsed but kept on shooting. Police found him dying. They also found Atkins' car had been sabotaged to keep it from starting.
The Tulsa Daily World, Tulsa, OK
Mrs. Verda Byrd, 44, of Claremont, Okla., got out of her car in Tulsa to make an early morning phone call and found herself trapped in the phone booth by a youth who thrust what she thought was a pistol into her back. The youth forced her back into her car and clutched her. Snatching her .22 caliber pistol from the seat, she shot him and ran back to the phone booth to summon police. The wounded youth started the car and rammed the booth, but fell dead. Mrs. Byrd escaped uninjured.
Sun-Sentinel, Deerfield Beach, FL
When two men tried to rob Coast Guardsman Jorge Anez in a movie theater parking lot, he took out his own gun and shot his assailants killing one and critically wounding the other. Anez, 23, was walking across the theater's parking lot around 11:40 p.m. when a man stepped out of a blue Chevy Caprice, pointed a gun at Anez, and ordered him to go to his car and turn over his belongings, said police spokesman Carlos Negron. When Anez reached into his car, the armed man pistol-whipped him. Fearing he would be killed, Anez then pulled out his own gun. His assailant started to run away, then turned and pointed his gun at the guardsman. Anez fired several shots hitting the gunman and a second man who had gotten out of the car. A third man, the driver of the Caprice, and another accomplice then sped off.
The Miami Herald, Miami, FL
On his drive home late one night from the movies, Paul Morgan, 88, of Miami, Fla., was accosted by two men who attempted to rob him. Morgan pulled a .38 and shot one man. His accomplice fled.
Journal-Constitution, Atlanta, GA
Rev. George W. Gates of Atlanta, Ga., went to the aid of a woman who was dragged screaming from her car into an apartment by a youth who was beating her and threatening to kill her. Rev. Gates fired a .22 pistol in warning, then fired at the assailant, wounding him.
Morning News, Dallas, TX
An armed robber was startled when Dallas, Tex., cab driver Sam Putnam refused to be robbed and instead got out of his cab. The gunman also got out and found himself staring across the car roof into the barrel of a gun held by Putnam. He surrendered to Putnam, who radioed for police.
Free Press, Burlington, VT
Reaching for his handgun instead of his stethoscope, Dr. Wally White of Burlington, Vt., frightened off a carload of hoods who approached him as he made a night deposit at his bank. At the bank, several men got out of a car and headed for White, apparently bent on robbing him. When White reached into his jacket for his gun, one of the men shouted, "He's armed. Let's get out of here." The men cursed and fled.
The News-American, Baltimore, MD
Returning in his car to Baltimore's Cornerstone Baptist Church late at night, Rev. Logan Kearse encountered 3 men trying to break down his church's door. When they ignored his order to halt, he drew a .38, fired once, then called help on the mobile phone in his car. One man was detained as he bolted from the church. Police found a second hiding in a basement closet. A third escaped.
Times, Santa Maria, CA
Henry Shrenk of Santa Maria, Calif., emerged unscathed from a gun duel with a bandit who held him up in his car outside Shrenk's restaurant. Getting out of the car as ordered, Shrenk heard a friend approach and hailed him. When the robber turned, Shrenk pulled a .22 pistol from his pocket. He and the gunman each fired 3 shots. The gunman then ran. Shrenk's pistol prevented 2 previous burglaries of his restaurant within the past year.
Times, Seattle, WA
Carrying $300 from her husband's Seattle, Wash., tavern, Mrs. Robert E. Lee climbed into her car at 3:19 a.m. to find a stranger inside. He lunged at her and she screamed. Lee shot the man with her .22 pistol.
Times-Picayune, New Orleans, LA
Charles Bradbury, of Miami, Fla., visiting in New Orleans, was thrown to the sidewalk by a man who leaped on him from behind a parked car and placed a knife at his throat. Taxicab driver Joseph Hirstius, passing just then, stopped his cab and with his personal pistol held the attacker until police arrived.
Evening Star, Washington, DC
In St. Marys County, Md., Earl R. Compton was awakened by screams and the sound of a car horn. Getting into his trousers and grabbing his gun Compton ran outside. He found a man attempting to attack a woman in a car. Compton ordered the man out of the car and the attacker jumped him. Compton fired one shot and the man staggered toward his own car and got in. He was dead when police arrived. The woman stated that the man had been following her, blinking his lights. She mistook him for a police car.
Miami Herald, Miami, FL
In Miami, Fla., Paul Baker, Jr. pulled into the driveway of his home in the early morning hours. He took his pistol from the glove compartment of his car and started toward his front door. A belt was thrown around Baker's neck from behind. Baker resisted and he and his unknown assailant fell to the ground. Baker fired four times at the would-be mugger, killing him instantly. It was later learned the man had a long police record.
The Post and Courier, Charleston, SC
When Ryan Smith stopped his Nissan Xterra to ask a group of people at a corner for directions, several men jumped into his vehicle, and one man punched him in the face, according to Charleston, S.C., police. Smith then grabbed a .25-cal. pistol from his glove compartment and shot his attacker who was later charged with attempted carjacking. The wounded attacker had been charged only days earlier in another incident in which he allegedly robbed a lost motorist at knifepoint.
The Chronicle, Augusta, GA
A would-be carjacker picked the wrong Columbia County, Georgia, woman to victimize as she was preparing to go home after a long day at work. Carol Randolph was getting into her car when she noticed a strange man approaching her. She jumped in the vehicle and locked the doors as the bandit drew a semi-automatic pistol. Randolph had her own .38 and fired a single on-target shot through the car's side window at her attacker. The injured stranger fired one wild shot and fled the scene, only to be arrested by police the next day after he attempted to enter a home.
The Miami Herald, Miami, FL
Mr. and Mrs. Michael McWilliams of Palmetto, Fla., pulled off the road to rest at a closed gas station near Titusville, Fla., at 2 a.m. About an hour later, they were awakened by noises made by two prowlers who had entered the station. McWilliams grabbed a .22 pistol and held the suspects until a passing Deputy Sheriff came along.