Victim zone double-whammy: Disarmed CHL-holder endures robbery & assault

-----Original Message-----
From: [Name withheld]
Sent: Wednesday, February 23, 2005

I was robbed today because of one of the biggest [criminal protection zones] of them all - the Ohio State University.

I was at the corner of 4th and Maynard in Columbus after being dropped off by the OSU bus system CABS. It's normally a 10-15 minute wait before the #4 COTA bus comes by and takes me to my doorstep.

I've checked the crime rate on comparative routes (the #2 up High Street) and it seemed safer in terms of violent crime, and I don't have to walk a mile to High Street to catch my bus.

I have a CHL and I routinely carry a .45 caliber handgun with me when I go anywhere, but Ohio law prevents me from carrying on the OSU campus. Since there is no place to store my firearm on campus - and COTA rules forbids CHL holders from carrying - I am left with the option of carrying a cell phone and some Tripple Action Mace.

As I waited at the stop listening to the police radio on some headphones, a black male (looked like he might be a college student) approached from a side street and walked past me about 20 feet or so. Then he looked down the street as if he were waiting on a bus and walked back past me and back down the street from which he had come. I had seen him approach, and I was keeping an eye on him (as I do all other people in the neighborhood), so I checked to see where he had gone a moment or two later. He had turned around and was headed back my way.

At about that time, I thought that I wished I had my Mace in my hand just in case, but it was in an outside "Napoleon pocket" of my coat. He walked up next to me and very quietly said "Hey man, how about you give me your backpack?". Since there was no radio traffic at that moment, I heard what he said perfectly - but took a moment to assess the situation as if I hadn't heard him. He didn't seem to be displaying a weapon, but at that moment he threw me to the ground, landed on top of me, and began punching me all over my head.

I reached inside my pocket and grabbed the Mace, rolled over - and for a moment he jumped back. Then he said "Oh? You gonna Mace me you piece of sh*t?!?" and resumed his attack. I emptied the entire can into his face - it lasted only seconds, then I was on my own and he was pissed.

At one point I caught a glimpse of his leg and reached for it to try to maybe flip him off (I'm 6'5" and 185lbs, but this guy was built like a football player) but it didn't work and he continued to pound my head into the dirt. I probably got hit 20 times.

Suddenly he got up, gave my bag a final yank strong enough to break the plastic strap adjustment loop and ran off. I rolled over and looked up at a CABS driver through the open doors of his bus. I asked if he could call the police and he said he would. He said I shouldn't wait at the stop in case the guy came back, then he told a student on the bus to give me some paper towels (which the student did) and drove off.

I stood there, blood pouring from my nose, and decided to head for the next traffic light south - at least cars stopped at the light might be more likely to see me. As I got to the intersection, I spotted a COTA bus and waved at the driver to stop. I figured that he would since I was so obviously in need of help. Instead, he just shook his head and drove past.

Luckily a passenger got the bus to stop at the stop where I was robbed and tried to hold the door open as I walked back - but the driver shut the doors and drove off. The passenger walked down the street to me and asked if I needed help - and since I still hadn't heard the call go out over the scanner (one headphone was still in my ear) he helped me call it in myself.

The nearest police substation is just a block or two away (4th precinct), and the stops on that line routinely have police cars driving past to and from the sub. While the dispatcher told me that my run was "the highest priority", it still took them at least 5 minutes to respond. When they did, they had at least 4 cruisers and they had summoned the helicopter to look for my attacker.

They didn't find him, but they took a report and drove me to the emergency room. At one point the Lieutenant stopped by and asked the other officer if he "thought it was related" and they both agreed. Apparently this has been happening a lot.

All told, the only thing the robber really got was a face full of Mace. It's no wonder it didn't do more to him, I got some in my own face and I've had hot sauce that was spicier.

The ER doctor said my nose wasn't broken and cauterized my nose - it's still oozing. The cops said that I was lucky - that when you stop fighting you die - and that I was right to fight back. I also informed them that I was a CHL-holder, just in case it came up when they pulled up my record.

I'd appreciate it if my friends at OFCC can put some more pressure (run more articles on the huge OSU CPZ, get the word out, etc.) about the high crime rate around campus, and eventually get the law changed so that I can protect myself while traveling to and from my school.

If the law were different I WOULD have been packing.

I am confident of my ability to retain the weapon. I retained the mace. I retained my book bag. I definitely would have retained my firearm.

For anyone who thinks Mace is an adequate defense - it ran out after 4 seconds and just pissed the guy off more...

[Lesson learned] - don't let anyone get within arms length of you or you might end up on the ground.

For groups like [the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence] who have fought to keep people like myself unarmed, they need to consider the fact that their selfish politics hurt more people than they help.

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