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A Washington, D.C. man who was attacked by a gunman will face murder charges for killing his attacker in an attempt to flee. It seems that the city of Washington now wants victims to allow their attackers to beat them, rob them, and perhaps even kill them instead of fighting back.

35 Year old tow truck driver Corey Stoddard was attacked by 22 year-old Kevin Crouch in a tow lot in Washington, DC several days ago. Crouch asked the truck driver about a car on the lot, and when Stoddard told him they didn’t have a car like that, Crouch drew a gun and began threatening him. The truck driver tried to run away from the gunman but he tripped and fell. At that point Crouch began repeatedly hitting Stoddard in the head with his gun.

Thinking fast, Stoddard reached for his wallet and tossed it away prompting his assailant to finally stop beating him and going after the discarded wallet. At that point Stoddard climbed into his tow truck and drove over his assailant dragging him along a sidewalk. Crouch died several hours later at a nearby hospital. When the police arrived on the scene they found Crouch’s body lying on top of a broken pellet gun, presumably the weapon he used to threaten the tow truck driver.

Corey Stoddard has admitted to all of the specifics in the police’s case and is now being charged second degree murder. The local police have rejected arguments that Stoddard was trying to escape Crouch in his tow truck, or that he may have been acting in self-defense. A judge ordered Stoddard released, but he will be monitored with an ankle bracelet while he is “free.” Both men had criminal histories before this incident, and Stoddard’s next appearance in court will come in late January.

I wasn’t there. I don’t know if Stoddard was trying to run away, defend himself, or did indeed maliciously run down Crouch. However, I would hope that the DC police would give the benefit of the doubt to the man who was brutally attacked and threatened at gunpoint. There can be no way that they can be sure what was running through the victim’s mind when he climbed into his truck. If his only thoughts were of survival, perhaps he felt like he had to run over Crouch to stay alive? While the death of a person is always a tragedy, when one chooses to use violence and intimidation to steal from others, they put their own lives at risk.

Kevin Crouch chose to wield a gun to threaten and rob another person… his death is his own fault…he’d still be alive if he’d chosen not to turn to crime.

 

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