Former Marine Sergeant stabs robber

I just saw this video here. No idea if it’s fake or not, looks real enough.

Looks like it was shot on the store’s CCTV system but it has pretty good sound, though you might need to turn it up to hear the robber speak. And then turn it down right after so your kids or colleagues don’t hear what the former Marine says at the end (you’ve been warned!)

What it looks like to me is this:

  • The robber comes in and produces the gun.
  • He demands the money in the register.
  • “Grits” aka “Uncle Bill”, which seems to be his name, stabs him and chases him off

Anyway, I’d like to hear from any LEO or criminal defense attorney out there what they make of it: Is this self defense? If not, what is it in the eyes of the law?

"Uncle Bill Gritts" stabs the robber.

UPDATE: I should have made it clear right away but I do know the US justice system varies from state to state. So a universal answer is not possible. That’s OK. If you can comment on how things would look in your jurisdiction, that’s plenty good by me.

Also, I know anything can happen once a case ends up in court.  Just your opinion, based on your professional experience, is perfectly fine as answer. Thanks!

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Comments

  1. To ask whether or not his actions were done in self-defense is really subjective depending upon the individual you ask. As a former law enforcement officer, I would say that depending upon what “Uncle Bill” says in a statement to police and depending upon the district attorney, it could be ruled as justified or, it could be construed as an assault.

    If he legitimately felt that his life and or the lives of those around him were in imminent danger, which I felt that at the very least the clerks life was, then he would be justified in using deadly force.

    Ask yourself this question, “How easy would it have been for the crook to point the gun at Uncle Bill and squeeze the trigger?” What would you do?

    Personally, my only problem with the whole situation is that…

    1. He didn’t finish the crook off, or at least continue stabbing him until he was on the ground and no longer in possession of the gun.

    2. He should have kept the personal commentary strictly to himself.

    3. All he should have said was, “Someone call 911 and request an ambulance and the police.”

    Shawn

    • Thanks for the feedback Shawn. One reason I ask is your second point: I’m wondering if a good defense attorney could twist his comment at the end around and send him to jail for it. Or if it’s irrelevant to the case.

      • Here in the United States we have what is called your Miranda Rights, one of which is as follows…

        “You have the right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be held against you in a court of law.”

        Now this is meant to be introduced when you are under questioning by the authorities, however, if this tape was introduced into court, which it will be, then every action both verbal and physical that Uncle Bill took will be intensely scrutinized. Now he probably will not be charged with any crime by the authorities, but it still doesn’t sound good. If he was sued civilly by the crook or his family, then his statements would definitely be held against him.

        Now it appeared to me that the crook was dark skinned, so it is obvious he isn’t white. If Uncle Bill had started screaming any kind of racial slur, a shyster attorney could have made a claim about a racially motivated attack and that Uncle Bill was racist. Attorneys, whether on your side or not, are the agents of Satan. Don’t ever forget that! Just watch, The Devil’s Advocate with Al Pacino and you’ll agree. ;-)

        Shawn

  2. To ask whether or not his actions were done in self-defense is really subjective depending upon the individual you ask. As a former law enforcement officer, I would say that depending upon what “Uncle Bill” says in a statement to police and depending upon the district attorney, it could be ruled as justified or, it could be construed as an assault.

    If he legitimately felt that his life and or the lives of those around him were in imminent danger, which I felt that at the very least the clerks life was, then he would be justified in using deadly force.

    Ask yourself this question, “How easy would it have been for the crook to point the gun at Uncle Bill and squeeze the trigger?” What would you do?

    Personally, my only problem with the whole situation is that…

    1. He didn’t finish the crook off, or at least continue stabbing him until he was on the ground and no longer in possession of the gun.

    2. He should have kept the personal commentary strictly to himself.

    3. All he should have said was, “Someone call 911 and request an ambulance and the police.”

    Shawn

    • Thanks for the feedback Shawn. One reason I ask is your second point: I’m wondering if a good defense attorney could twist his comment at the end around and send him to jail for it. Or if it’s irrelevant to the case.

      • Here in the United States we have what is called your Miranda Rights, one of which is as follows…

        “You have the right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be held against you in a court of law.”

        Now this is meant to be introduced when you are under questioning by the authorities, however, if this tape was introduced into court, which it will be, then every action both verbal and physical that Uncle Bill took will be intensely scrutinized. Now he probably will not be charged with any crime by the authorities, but it still doesn’t sound good. If he was sued civilly by the crook or his family, then his statements would definitely be held against him.

        Now it appeared to me that the crook was dark skinned, so it is obvious he isn’t white. If Uncle Bill had started screaming any kind of racial slur, a shyster attorney could have made a claim about a racially motivated attack and that Uncle Bill was racist. Attorneys, whether on your side or not, are the agents of Satan. Don’t ever forget that! Just watch, The Devil’s Advocate with Al Pacino and you’ll agree. ;-)

        Shawn

  3. It would have been better if he had just choked the guy out or restrained him so the cops could prosecute and jail him…

  4. It would have been better if he had just choked the guy out or restrained him so the cops could prosecute and jail him…

  5. Steve Holley says

    You’re allowed to use force to defend your life or the life of another. The question is the degree of force. By producing the gun, the robber has signaled that he intends to use or has the potential to use deadly force. Grits’ use of the knife was also a deadly force option. As far as the law in FL is concerned: justified.
    However, he stuck the guy once and let him run away. He could just as easily shot him. Not bright. He should have continued to use force until the robber no longer presented a credible threat.
    As far as what he said post-incident, it can be considered relevant in a civil action, I suppose, but it wouldn’t affect the criminal portion of the program much. But again, not really bright to say that sort of thing.

  6. Steve Holley says

    You’re allowed to use force to defend your life or the life of another. The question is the degree of force. By producing the gun, the robber has signaled that he intends to use or has the potential to use deadly force. Grits’ use of the knife was also a deadly force option. As far as the law in FL is concerned: justified.
    However, he stuck the guy once and let him run away. He could just as easily shot him. Not bright. He should have continued to use force until the robber no longer presented a credible threat.
    As far as what he said post-incident, it can be considered relevant in a civil action, I suppose, but it wouldn’t affect the criminal portion of the program much. But again, not really bright to say that sort of thing.

  7. Danny Young says

    I know what I think, but I am not qualified under the guidelines provided.

    • No worries Danny, anybody can comment. But I’m mostly looking for the POV of those who deal with it every day. That’s why I also left out my own opinion and only stated what I saw. I’m simply wondering how this would play out in court.

  8. Danny Young says

    I know what I think, but I am not qualified under the guidelines provided.

    • No worries Danny, anybody can comment. But I’m mostly looking for the POV of those who deal with it every day. That’s why I also left out my own opinion and only stated what I saw. I’m simply wondering how this would play out in court.

  9. I think he did the right thing. He attacked until the bad guy was obviously fleeing.

    As for the smack-talk at the end. I got the feeling that he wasn’t sure if the bad guy had accomplices in the store and was putting on a threat display.

  10. I think he did the right thing. He attacked until the bad guy was obviously fleeing.

    As for the smack-talk at the end. I got the feeling that he wasn’t sure if the bad guy had accomplices in the store and was putting on a threat display.

  11. I literally just finished jury service on an assault case. We were asked to decide whether a defendant should be convicted and jailed, for allegedly spitting on his estranged girlfriend. The State was adamant that he should.

    There was no mention of an exception for self-defense. ;)

  12. I literally just finished jury service on an assault case. We were asked to decide whether a defendant should be convicted and jailed, for allegedly spitting on his estranged girlfriend. The State was adamant that he should.

    There was no mention of an exception for self-defense. ;)

  13. Average Joe says

    This just goes to show you why you use us Marines to be the defenders of this fine Country of ours! We do what no one else will do! We defend those that can’t defend themselves! As for the dirtbags who are reading this, Fuck with a United States Marine, you will be lucky if you live scumbag!

    Semper Fi to all my brothers!

  14. Average Joe says

    This just goes to show you why you use us Marines to be the defenders of this fine Country of ours! We do what no one else will do! We defend those that can’t defend themselves! As for the dirtbags who are reading this, Fuck with a United States Marine, you will be lucky if you live scumbag!

    Semper Fi to all my brothers!

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