‘Lucky’ man calls armed robber’s bluff on Melrose Ave

A man told police he called the bluff of a pistol-pointing Capitol Hill street robber last night and was able to walk away from the attempted hold-up with his possessions — and his life — intact. 

According to SPD, the victim in the attempted hold-up told police he was walking in the 1800 block of Melrose just before midnight Sunday when he heard somebody running up behind him. As the victim stepped aside to let the runner by, he heard a man tell him to drop his backpack. The victim turned to see the suspect holding a gun and dropped the pack.

The suspect then demanded the victim drop his phone and his wallet. The victim, who told police he was working on “self esteem issues,” said he decided to call the suspect’s bluff and tell him no and that nobody cared if he got shot.

The victim told police the suspect said he was “lucky” before letting him go and walking away southbound on Melrose.

The victim waved down a police car and told the officer about the suspect who had left the area only moments earlier. The search for a black male, 6-feet tall, carrying a grey revolver came up empty.

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14 thoughts on “‘Lucky’ man calls armed robber’s bluff on Melrose Ave

  1. While it’s a very personal choice to fight back evil like this, I like to hear stories like this. Posessions are not worth your life, but pride is also important to retain. This victim was not ‘lucky’ he was standing up for every good person and is a hero (in my opinion) for not letting a thug win. I am glad he is safe also.

  2. Not sure if that “nobody cares if I get shot” equals standing up for yourself. Hope dude gets some help, sounds like he’s a shade depressed and not in a good place emotionally.

  3. Hmmm you are reading a lot into this dudes bluff.
    ‘said he decided to call the suspect’s bluff and tell him no and that nobody cared if he got shot.’ You make it sound like he was hoping to get shot? self esteem does not equal suicide.

  4. When someone says they’re having self-esteem issues then tells a person threatening his life that nobody would care if he got shot, saying they might need some help is not reading too much into it. It also doesn’t mean he WANTED to die or anything, but by the victim’s own admission he called the bluff more due to self-esteem problems than bravery (or at least that’s the primary excuse he offered).

  5. I understand your ironic quotation marks, but have you actually thought about what you’re implying? Given that so much of CHS content is about street crime, this strikes me as an appropriate place to examine your notion of this “Lucky” man.

    I once took a self defense course where, among other things, a police officer gave a presentation on urban violence. His advice to any victim of an armed robbery was to give the assailant everything, with no resistance whatsoever. His reasoning was that your life is worth more than anything you own. We hear this argument repeated endlessly, by nearly everyone, almost everywhere.

    I didn’t agree then and don’t agree now. I asked the officer why, given what he’d just said, he chose to be a cop. I suggested it might be because he held principles which were more worth more to him than his life. “Nothing you have is worth dying for” is true only if you possess nothing but stuff.

    If we don’t have at least some principles that are more important to us than our lives, just what are we? To have living as long as possible as one’s primary goal in life is to be less than fully human. People seem to regard this as grandiose, when it fact it couldn’t be more ordinary or practical. We’re all going to die. Every last one of us. None of us can do anything at all about that. We can, however, choose to have a meaningful death by choosing to have a meaningful life.

    With regard to your “lucky” man, I might question his principles, which appear to be “I respect myself too much to allow you to do this to me against my will.” What I can’t do is fail to admire him for living by them. After all, if the universal response to mugging was all-out resistance, just how many people would try to mug anyone? Every time we accepting being victimized, we increase the odds that someone, somewhere, will do the same.

    Consider that whenever any of us refuses to be a victim, we reduce the total number of victims in the world by a number that may be incalculable, but is definitely greater than one. Refusing to be robbed is a public service. Because of this man, every single one of us is less likely to be mugged. He’s entitled to our gratitude and deserves our assurance that we’ll do the same for him.

  6. Exactly.

    Resisting armed robbery to avoid losing money may be the choice of an idiot, but refusing to be robbed at gunpoint because violent coercion is anathema is the act of a hero.

    “Unprincipled human being” is an oxymoron. If nothing is more important to you than your own life, your life is worth nothing.

  7. Agreed!

    And, WTF? I’ve lived on Cap Hill for over a decade and up until this last year, getting robbed on the street wasn’t something folks had to worry much about. This is happening way too often, people ought to be PISSED.

  8. I can’t believe anyone is thinking that this was a really solid idea. As someone who works every day with mentally ill folks who are addicted to drugs, let me tell you that this was a fucking stupid decision, and actually, other commenter, no, nothing you own is worth DYING for…definitely not your cell phone or your ATM card or your car. Live a meaningful life by DOING something significant with it, not by standing up to someone who doesn’t care and will just go rob someone else without even thinking twice about it.

    That said, when I first moved to Cap Hill, I was young and drunk and stupid and someone tried to rob me and I, full of East Coast bravado, said “NO!” and the guy said “No?” and I said “NO!!!” and he walked away. Yeah, and that was REALLY STUPID too.

  9. What Capitol Hill you been living on, Jess? I have also lived here for about a decade and a LOT of people I know (including myself) have been on the nasty end of muggings/attempted physical assaults. But I agree, we should be pissed.

  10. Was this a good idea too?

    http://evgrieve.com/2011/07/report-mugging-on-11th-street-an

    How about this?

    http://gothamist.com/2005/01/28/murder_on_the_lower_east_sid

    I am not saying that the people who were murdered were at fault here, I am just saying that these things REALLY happen…people REALLY ACTUALLY GET KILLED for resisting muggers, and it’s not cowardly to just give them your crap and go on actually living your life. And you’re not really teaching them anything if you “stand up to them,” or whatever. The arrogance of that just blows my freaking mind.

  11. Good to see there are other people who share this sentiment. Not letting some scumbag take your belongings shouldn’t automatically equal stupid as SPD and others would have you believe.

  12. Just to clarify, personally, I am pissed about the social problems that lead to muggings like this, not at any particular group of people as it seeeems that someone else is implying is the proper target of our pissed off-edness.

  13. Bryan, Thank you so much for the words you shared. I work with a number of rape survivors and I think your last paragraph is an incredibly powerful thought that I will definitely share with others.

    I’ve taken numerous self-defense classes as well and I was told that each person has the right to decide what is or isn’t worth fighting for and only that person and their God knows what is best for them in that moment. I see this “lucky” man not as fighting for “worthless possessions” but fighting for his right to feel safe and his right to defend himself. Regardless of what anyone might think, he is alive. And that’s all that really matters.

    I was mugged as a teenager once and before I knew what was happening, I had chased my mugger down and grabbed my purse back from him. It wasn’t about my possessions. I was mad that someone thought they could victimize me and my “fight” kicked in before my “flight” instincts could even think.

    Life is about the domino effect; you never know how far your actions will go. This man’s actions made the news which prompted your comment which changed my life and I can guarantee you, it will change the lives of the women I share your words with. So whether or not he acted “stupidly”, I can personally assure you his actions were not in vain.