Saturday, June 16, 2018

A Cultural Phenomenon

Walmart Heist Goes Doubly Wrong for Robber
by Robert A. Waters

Roughly 1 in 20 Floridians have permits to legally carry firearms.  Concealed carry has become a cultural phenomenon in the state.  Every place you go (except for "gun-free" institutions such as schools, colleges, and the post office), people have firearms hidden in holsters, purses, pants pockets, and vehicles.  In fact, it's getting downright dangerous for crooks in the Sunshine State.

One Jacksonville, Florida robber learned this the hard way.

A few days ago, Christopher Raymond Hill, dressed in bright orange clothing, allegedly robbed a Walmart store in Jacksonville.  According to Fox News 40, Hill "went into a Walmart liquor store and asked the cashier, LaToya King, for change for a $20.  When King told [Hill] he had to buy something, he purchased a pack of cigarettes.  However, when she opened the cash register, he leaped over the counter, grabbed the register [drawer], and ran out of the store."

In the Walmart parking lot, Hill attempted to steal a silver Ford SUV but couldn't get it started.  

So much for his getaway scheme, now it was time for Plan B.

Scott Reardean, sitting in his pickup outside Supercuts hair salon, was approached by Hill, who placed the money-filled drawer in his truck bed and asked for a ride.  When Reardean refused, Hill pulled a knife.  He slashed Reardean several times before his victim pulled a handgun from his glove box and pointed it at his attacker.  Reardean, who has a concealed carry permit, stated: "He was like, 'Don’t shoot me.'  I was like, 'Then get out of here.'"

Hill fled, but soon decided to carjack someone else.  With a woman behind the wheel, he may have mistakenly thought this carjacking would be easier.  The unidentified victim was in a drive-through line at Starbucks when Hill jerked open her door and jumped in her car.  He yelled at her to drive, telling her that someone was chasing him.  The woman quickly got out, opened her trunk, and retrieved a Ruger firearm.  Hill reportedly began to move toward her.  However, he did an about-face when she pointed the gun at him.  (The news report does not state whether she had a permit to carry, but it's extremely likely.)

Now thoroughly defeated, the accused robber fled to Supercuts and hid in the rest room.  It didn't take long for cops to locate him.  He faces a slew of charges, including strong-arm robbery, attempted carjacking, and aggravated battery.  If convicted, a long stint in prison awaits the bumbling crook.

But Hill should thank his lucky stars he wasn't shot.

Reardean, bleeding from cuts to his hands and legs, spoke to reporters.  "These guys can talk about banning assault rifles and banning guns," he said, "but when it comes and happens to them, they're going to wish they had one."

Hill, sitting in the tank, is likely wondering if robbers can get a fair shake in Florida.  Used to be, you could rob with impunity--now you not only have to fight police, there's always a citizen or two waiting to take you down.

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