On Wednesday, I wrote an armed citizen story about a man in Queens, NY who used his firearm to defend himself from a robber.
Based on the information we had, it looked fairly cut and dried. The bad guy showed up, threatened the good guy and the good guy pulled his weapon and fired.
Well, today, things are just a smidge different.
A 65-year-old man fatally shot a mugger who appeared to have threatened him with a pen during a botched robbery in Queens early Wednesday — and prosecutors are now weighing if murder charges should be filed, authorities said.
The man was walking home around 2 a.m. when the 32-year-old alleged robber came up to him at a driveway leading to a parking garage on 82nd Avenue near Queens Boulevard in Kew Gardens, according to cops and law enforcement sources.
The erratic mugger demanded cash and cigarettes while flashing an unknown sharp object, the sources said.
That’s when the older man, identified as Charles Foehner, then allegedly pulled out a silver revolver and shot him multiple times in the chest, police said.
A video viewed by The Post captures the alleged robber swaying back and forth, appearing to taunt Foehner, before charging at the 65-year-old, who pulls a gun and opens fire.
The Queens district attorney will be filing charges against Foehner for criminal possession of a firearm and criminal possession of a weapon, which really just sounds like the same law to me. She’s also considering murder charges.
However, a few things are pretty clear. It doesn’t sound like Foehner had a carry permit, for one thing, otherwise, the possession charges wouldn’t apply. As such, my comments on Wednesday regarding this and Bruen are largely irrelevant now.
Yet are murder charges warranted, or is this still self-defense?
That’s obviously something the DA will be trying to decide. The fact that the bad guy had a pen, though, is largely irrelevant to me. We have a man walking home when confronted by someone in a threatening manner, demanding money and goods from him, with something in his hand.
The threat was real.
Unfortunately, the fact that it was a pen will likely work against Foehner if for no other reason than the DA gets to examine everything in the cold light of day, not in the heat of the moment. It shouldn’t, though, because you can seriously hurt someone with a pen.
Another issue for Foehner is that while he shot a robber in the act, New York isn’t a Stand Your Ground state. Charges may well stem from an ability to retreat but not doing so.
It shouldn’t, of course, but that’s why “duty to retreat” laws are idiotic.
Yet whether we agree with them or not, they’re the laws on the books in Queens, which means Foehner may well end up in some serious trouble.
The flip side is that this was a 65-year-old man facing off against a guy half his age. Retreat likely wasn’t possible. Foehner could try to get away, but there’s not a lot of chance he’d be successful. Plus, the age difference may well have contributed to fearing for his life.
With luck, Foehner’s legal troubles will evaporate in due course.
I just don’t know that he’s that lucky.