We need more prosecutors like this.


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I like Hamilton county Proecutor point, but I think the media tried to put the anti spin on this.

Fighting Back

Last Update: 7:34 pm

Related Links
Ohio Attorney General's Office Official Site: Concealed Carry Laws
Hamilton Co. Prosecuting Attorney Official Site
9 On Your Side: Inside A Concealed Carry Class
Reported by: Brendan Keefe
Photographed by: Sean Dunster
Web produced by: Laura Hornsby

Armed robbers now face a potential penalty worse than prison time: death. But should store owners use their guns to act as judge, jury and executioner?
Shots ring out on a downtown street. Police show up and take the shooter's gun away, but they don't arrest him. Why? Because the gunman was a store owner chasing a fleeing armed robber.

The law on this is fuzzy, but Hamilton County's prosecutor is crystal clear: victims will not be charged for fighting back.

Store owners and clerks have made easy targets for years. But now, an armed robber may end up staring down the barrel of a gun himself, especially in Hamilton County, where the victims are fighting back.

Wade Nassar's downtown convenience store was held up last November. He not only gave the gunman the cash, but also gave him a run for his money. "I want to kill him so bad," said Nassar. "I grab my gun, size 22, small bullet, the smallest gun, [and] 'bam! bam! bam!' I miss him."

The bullets hit trees and whizzed by a neighboring school. No one was hit, but the 61-year-old store owner faced the very real possibility of criminal charges himself for chasing the gunman out of the store after the danger had passed.

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters decided not to charge Nassar, or Rufino Delangel, another store owner who opened fire on so-called "fleeing felons" that same month.

"They [shot at] me three times," said Delangel, "Then I [fired] back."

"I cannot fault someone who wants to defend themselves," Deters said. "I will not charge them in the defense of their business or their family or themselves."

Ohio law allows civilians to use deadly force only if they have a reasonable fear of imminent seriously bodily injury or death.

Retired Cincinnati police officer Tom Wood teaches his concealed carry students the law: you can not chase your attackers down the street.

"If your life is threatened, that's the only time you're allowed to shoot, if you're in mortal fear of losing your life - pull the trigger," said Wood. "That's what I would suggest. Don't go hunting."

But Joe Deters is the law in Hamilton County, and charging a store owner is a losing case. How does a prosecutor get 12 jurors to identify with the armed robber and not the hard-working robbery victim?

"If I don't believe we can win at trial, we can't charge people, and I won't charge people," said Deters.

Bob Mlinar didn't have a gun the night in July 2006 when he was shot by robbers at his Hamilton Avenue drive-thru. "His accomplice was standing over me, pointing the gun at me," explained Mlinar. They came back with their guns six months later. "I believe the one that shot me this time was the same one who shot me in July."

It happens fast: from customer to attacker in a split-second.

Sometimes the gunmen shoot first and ask questions later.

"If someone is using deadly force against you, you can use it back," Deters said. And that's what many store owners are doing- using hammers, baseball bats, and even axes.

And in a robbery of a Columbus motel, the desk clerk had a gun. He fires three times, hitting the armed robber with each shot. In that instance, a mother pulls her toddler out of the line of fire just in time.

"If you walk into a store with a gun in order to rob it, I believe you've forfeited your right not to be shot," Deters said.

So far, there has not been a local case of an innocent bystander shot by a pistol-packing store owner. Deters says he will deal with each case on an individual basis. But if this is a war, store owners are on the front lines. Many of them have taken up arms and have little reason to fear prosecution for pulling the trigger.

This is the way it sould be. If criminals new they would have to surrive a gun battle every time they decided to rob someone, most of them would think twice.
I agree witht he prosecuter but just look at the slant the media hacks who wrote this puts on it. Pulled a toddler out of the line of fire ... alll that crap. YOu know what he is trying to do here get everyone riled up against guns being used by shop owners in self defence. That is sensational journalism at its finest
I agree with Gunny! I love the "pulled the baby out of the line of fire just in time" or the "bullets whizzed by a near by school" comments. I think i have seen a video of the one with the baby I'll see if I can find it. It is good to see that there are some out there that still believe we have a right to defend ourselves!
Amen!! Having to wait until we're sure to be in immediate threat can really put one at a disadvantage. I know, if I have that kind of time to assess I should be looking for alternatives, but it seems wrong to have that onus, (waiting for the immediate threat to materialize), put upon the law abiding people.
Sounds like this business owner should be recommended for the good conduct medal. Maybe this will make all the dirtbags out there think twice about robbing someone with a deadly weapon.

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