Sunday, March 30, 2008

Former Marine, 84, foils robbery attempt

By Dan Lamothe - Staff writer
Posted : Thursday Mar 27, 2008 20:10:48 EDT

An 84-year-old former Marine stopped a teenager brandishing a knife in a robbery attempt Wednesday with a kick to the groin, police said.

The former Marine, whose name was not released, was walking on a Santa Rosa, Calif., sidewalk with a grocery bag in each arm when he was approached by the teen, said Sgt. Steve Bair of the Santa Rosa Police Department. The alleged incident occurred at 2 p.m.

Bair said the teen, described as a white male about 15-16 years old, threatened the man, saying, “Old man, give me your wallet or I’ll cut you.”

The former Marine responded by telling the teenager he had fought in three wars and faced knives and bayonets in the past, Bair said. The Marine placed his grocery bags on the ground and said if the teen came any closer, he’d be sorry, police said.

Bair said when the teen took a step toward the former Marine, the man kicked him in the groin. The leatherneck picked up his groceries, walked home and arrived at the police department 45 minutes later to report the attempted robbery, police said.

The incident marks at least the second time in a year that an attempted robbery was foiled by a former Marine in his golden years.

In June, Bill Barnes, 72, foiled a pickpocket attempt at a Grand Rapids, Mich., store, landing six or seven punches on a would-be thief, 28, before a store manager intervened. The thief, Jesse Rae, received a six-month jail sentence in January after pleading guilty to assault with intent to commit unarmed robbery.

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