Man Saves Woman From Robbery in New York, Promptly Gets Arrested for His Efforts

AP Photo/John Minchillo

A man was arrested on Thursday after saving a woman from being robbed in a New York City subway station. 

According to reports, a panhandler approached a woman, demanding she give him a dollar. When the woman refused to do so, he followed her and attempted to steal her purse. The homeless man is apparently known to the NYPD. 

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John Rote fired off a warning shot when he saw a homeless panhandler demand the woman give him $1 after she entered the subway platform through an emergency gate, not paying the fare. He then followed her and threatened to steal her purse. 

Surveillance video showed Rote telling the would-be thief to “leave her alone,” pulling a firearm from a backpack and then popping off a warning shot towards the man’s feet before putting the weapon away and exiting the subway station. 

Richard Davey, who heads the New York City Metropolitan Transit Authority, slammed John Rote for saving the woman, calling his actions "outrageous" and "reckless." He said:

I want to be clear: we don’t tolerate this kind of conduct in NYC Transit, period. Once again cameras recorded a perpetrator, and we are grateful the NYPD made an arrest within hours. Thank goodness nobody was hurt here – but what occurred was outrageous, reckless, and unacceptable.

Is it reckless to shoot a gun in a subway station as authorities claimed, in response to the situation? You could certainly make that case, but that's not really the issue here. This is what happens when cities allow lawlessness to fester and grow in the name of "social justice." New York City pioneered the so-called "bail reform" movement. That has led to repeat criminals being arrested over and over, only to be immediately released in each case. Even violent criminals have found comfort in the system. 

It is an insane way to enforce the law, and the results have been predictable. A woman shouldn't have to worry about being threatened and mugged in a subway station. Likewise, a bystander such as Rote shouldn't have to step in to save her. That's what happened, though, because New York City officials have put policies in place that have incentivized and encouraged criminal activity. 

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Unfortunately, the message being sent by law enforcement and city officials is to not intervene and help people in distress. They made that clear after they charged Daniel Penny in the death of Jordan Neely. If you live in one of these dark blue cities with progressive prosecutors in every office, you are putting yourself in legal danger if you step in to stop criminals from harming others. 

That is leaving normal Americans in the untenable position of having to decide whether to stand idly by or not in the face of another person's suffering. Prosecutorial discretion is a facet of law enforcement, and it should be used in these situations. Most of all, though, actual criminals should be vigorously pursued, charged, and sent to jail for long periods of time. If that was happening, people like Rote wouldn't need to get involved. 

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