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Yet another case of DO NOT BE THIS GUY!!!1!

As reported via Boston.com:

Cabdriver charged with shooting alleged robber
Lawyer says client feared for his life

By John R. Ellement, Globe Staff | January 30, 2007

LAWRENCE -- Bienvenido Rodriguez admits disarming the safety on his gun and firing at the man who allegedly robbed him at knifepoint, but he never meant to shoot anyone, according to a police report.

As a result of his actions, the 42-year-old taxi driver, who friends say is an immigrant success story with an even temper, was transformed from a victim to a perpetrator of a violent crime, authorities said.

Police reports said Rodriguez admitted to detectives that he fired at Herman Irene as the alleged robber ran away from him, but that he insisted he never meant to hit him.

"He only meant to scare him and did not think he hit him, since when he shot the gun off he was aiming high," the report said.

Rodriguez's lawyer said yesterday that her client feared for his life, but Lawrence Police Chief John Romero said Rodriguez went too far.

"When a guy is fleeing, he no longer poses a threat to you," and a person cannot legally use deadly force as their attacker runs away, he said.

Rodriguez, who immigrated from the Dominican Republic 22 years ago and is a naturalized citizen, was working his usual overnight shift early Sunday, driving a minivan for Liberty Car Services of Lawrence, according to court records and interviews.

Rodriguez already had one fare on board and was heading to Haverhill when he stopped to pick up Irene on Springfield Street in Lawrence.

When the van drove into the darkness of a highway overpass on Parker Street in Lawrence, Irene allegedly pulled a knife, forced Rodriguez to pull over, and robbed him of the cash stuck into the car's visor, according to court records and Rodriguez's lawyer. The other passenger witnessed the exchange and called police on his cellphone, records show.

Irene got out of the van and started running, and Rodriguez reached for the licensed .40 caliber Smith and Wesson pistol he carried, released the safety, and fired one shot into Irene's back, authorities alleged.

Rodriguez pleaded not guilty in Lawrence District Court to charges of assault with intent to murder and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and was ordered held on $10,000 cash bail by Judge Kevin J. Gaffney.

Irene, 36, of Lawrence, was recovering yesterday at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, where he was arraigned and charged with armed robbery, according to Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett's office. Bail was set at $10,000 cash. Irene also faces attempted murder charges from a prior domestic violence case, prosecutors said.

Rodriguez's lawyer, Pamela F. Saia, said he should not have been charged. "He was the victim of a crime," she said. "Mr. Rodriguez is scared to death. . . . He was completely afraid he was going to be killed."

About 10 people, including at least one of his teenage sons and his mother, were in court on Rodriguez's behalf yesterday.

Saia said Rodriguez has built a successful life through hard work. He owns a two-family house in Methuen, owns a car repair shop in Methuen, and works every night driving a cab in the Lawrence area.

She said Rodriguez purchased the weapon about a year ago and took a class to learn how to use it properly. Sunday at 1:45 a.m. was the first time he fired the handgun, she said.

Rodriguez has been associated with Liberty for three years, according to Maria Romero, office manager. Speaking on behalf of owner Juan Hernandez, Romero said that Rodriguez has a job waiting for him.

The article can be found at; http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2007/01/30/cabdriver_charged_with_shooting_alleged_robber/

- Janq

The lessons to be learned/relearned from this:
* Do not place/leave/store money or valuables in your car at all unless it is locked away out of sight from others...or directly on your person! This guy storing cash openly and visible to his fares via a clip on his visor was the catalyst for his problems. Further considering his profession as being a cabbie that very much increased his chances toward being attacked, which no doubt is the required 'reason' he used on his MA LTC application, he should know better than to store cash in the open. Criminals arecreatures of prey and opportunity (!). Fares sit in the back of the cab, or at times passenger seat, and have the jump on a driver...he should know this having been a cabbie for more than a week.

* If you are going to carry a firearm on your person toward the streets (CCW) then you had damn well better get over to the range and become intinmately familiar with the operation and functionality of your weapon of choice _and_ develop a practiced skill set toward proper AND legal use of that weapon (!).
The cabbie says he "aimed high". How does he know this if he's not ever shot the gun before and thus has not trained with it?! He has no idea how the sights on that gun relate to the point of impact. He has no clue how the rounds in that particular weapon relate to it's own point of aim or even that of his own hand.

* Upon being attacked and moments prior, e.g. being in imminent danger, you may by MA law use deadly force to defend your life, not your livelihood or material property. In this case the BG got the jump on both the co-passenger as well as the cabbie and he took the cabbies publicly displayed and incorrectly stored cash then fled into the night...no longer a threat to the cabbie or remaining passenger! The law in MA and most other states state that if you are not in immediate real imminent mortal danger, then you may not use lethal force. Having a CCW permit and firearm does not give you cop powers, even though you might feel angry or scared or slighted by an asshole. Worst firing on to a running away person is fubar, whether you mean to hit him or not. A person leaving away from you is thus leaving you alone and therfore no longer a threat. If he/she is no longer a threat then you are not justified to deploy nor apply lethal force.

* Warning shots are illegal. Shooting to "scare the guy" is illegal.
Every bullet that leaves the business end of your firearm is yours and is accountable to YOU! If this guy had missed as intended that bullet would have gone on to hit something if not someone else. The bullet doesn't just disappear like in a video game. It stops moving when it hits something or someone, period. Do not do this!
If you decide to deploy your firearm then it had damn well better be for an immediate and imminent mortal danger. As such your shot or multiple shots had better be on target, not purposely off target (!). As well be aware of your background, especially in a town or city environment regardless of the time, because there is almost always a background behind the BG.

* Be the best witness you can be.
In a case like this he should have dialed 911 immediately and downloaded to the their taped operator as much detailed information as he could recall on hand before it's forgotten or munged by the brain due to stress.
Maybe he could have stayed in his car and followed the BG along the route he ran as his passenger and/or he were on the phone with 911. As for the money he lost, he and his family are now going to be out a hell of alot more money now than the at best hundred bucks or so he had taken from him by the BG working on a crime of opportunity. Damn some money, that and a car can be very easily replaced. Ones own life, freedom, and ability to care for & protect their family for the long haul future can not.

I feel bad for the victim having been victimized. But if I were on his jury I'd asses him guilty toward a number of crimes from wrongful discharge of a weapon to assault to even attempted murder.
The CCW in this case will be charged and is very likely going to spend several nights & days with bunkmates the MA House of Corrections.
If only he'd educated himself and known better as well as acted like he knows, he'd not be in this jam and would be at home with his family light in the pockets by a few bucks that when ammortized over a lifetime are insignificant pennies. :(
Once again DO NOT be this guy, learn from his lessons.
 
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