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Author Topic: knife on gun, Marine kicks ass  (Read 2773 times)
Bryan Lee
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« on: June 19, 2006, 02:53:53 AM »

Former Marine Foils Armed Robbery
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Reported By: Elaine Reyes
Web Editor: Michael King
Last Modified: 5/30/2006 7:44:26 PM

A former U.S. Marine pulled out a pocket knife and fought back against five people, including a 17-year-old girl, who he said tried to rob him late Monday night in Midtown Atlanta.

The girl, identified as Amy Martin of Atlanta, died of her injuries. Another one of the assailants, 17-year-old Christopher Daniel, is in critical condition.

Investigators are calling the case one of self-defense. They say no charges will be filed against the victim in the case.

"One of the subjects had a shotgun, another had a pistol, yet a third had some brass knuckes," said Major Lane Hagin. Police say they have been interrogating the other three suspects who were identified as 17-year-old Kendall Barksdale, 17-year-old Christopher Hayes, and a 16-year-old.

Atlanta police say around 11 p.m., Thomas Autry -- a former U.S. Marine -- was walking home from his job as a server at Jock?s and Jill?s in Midtown. He says that when he got to 4th Street and Penn Avenue, four people jumped out of a Cadillac with guns.

Police say that two of the suspects were armed -- one with a handgun, the other with a shotgun.

Autry told police he kicked the guns out of their hands, and fought back with his own pocket knife, stabbing the girl when she jumped on him and another man who attacked him.

The suspects fled in their car but police found them later at Atlanta Medical Center where the girl was pronounced dead. The man stabbed in the incident was in critical condition, Stephens said.

The remaining suspects were taken into police custody.

?These are the individuals we have been looking for, for the past two nights,? said Atlanta police Detective Danny Stephens. ?They?ve were riding around in this area. They were actually robbing people. There?s actually been a lookout for these individuals, and tonight, we caught up with them.?

The older sister of one of the three people police have been talking to said she had been warning her brother about running with the wrong crowd.

?I?m really disturbed by this,? she said. ?We?re always telling my brother that he needs to straighten up, and get it together and not run with the wrong crowd.?

Autry's attackers will face robbery and aggravated assault charges and are suspected in other robberies over the past week, Stephens said.

Stephens credited Autry's military training with helping him fend off the group.

"I would say he had to do what he had to do to stop the threat," Stephens said. "You can tell his training kicked in and he knew what to do."

Autry, 36, suffered a cut to his hand and a bruise on his chest, Stephens said.
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Bryan Lee
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Posts: 27


« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2006, 03:33:40 AM »

Former Marine kills would-be robber
Woman, armed men attack waiter walking home

By BILL MONTGOMERY, BETH WARREN
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 05/30/06

A former Marine who police say killed a woman that attacked him during a gang robbery attempt told reporters Tuesday he acted only to save his life.

"My first instinct was to run," said former Cpl. Thomas Autry, 36. "Those kids were younger than me. They caught me and cornered me. It was about life preservation."

"I'm sorry this whole thing happened. I hate this world has gotten to the point where it is predatory," said a shaken Autry.

The pack of would-be robbers, including a 17-year-old woman, might have mistaken the tall, thin, waiter for an easy mark, said police. But, the bandits picked the wrong victim, said Atlanta police homicide Detective Danny Stephens. The former Marine, cornered by his pursuers on Penn Avenue at 4th Street, fought back with a pocket knife in a deadly melee that left the young woman dead and a man in his late teens seriously injured at a hospital.

Autry suffered minor injuries, including a cut to his hand.

The woman, identified as Amy Martin, had just had a birthday May 10, said Investigator Mark Gilbeau with the Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office. An autopsy was expected to be completed Tuesday. "Cause of death will be stab wounds, but we don't know how many yet," Gilbeau said.

Early reports were that Martin was pregnant, but the autopsy concluded otherwise, said the Fulton Medical Examiner's Office.

The teenager lived in an apartment at 3000 Stone Hogan Connector in southwest Atlanta, south of Greenbriar Mall near East Point, Gilbeau said. A young man also stabbed in the robbery attempt remained in critical condition, he added.

The identities of the surviving suspects, who Stephens said are believed to be linked to "a lot" of pedestrian robberies in Midtown and Virginia-Highland, were not released. They face aggravated assault and robbery charges, police said.

Autry will not be charged, Stephens said. "It was a clear case of self defense."

Stephens said Autry had left his job at the Jocks & Jills restaurant in Midtown and was walking along Penn Avenue when a blue Cadillac pulled alongside and three men, one armed with a shotgun, and the woman jumped from the car.

"This group had robbed two men on Piedmont earlier Monday night, taking a video camera and a cellphone," Stephens said.

"Autry takes off running, and they chase him. During the chase, Autry's trying to get into his backpack to get a pocket knife, which slows him down," Stephens said.

During the chase, Autry repeatedly yelled "fire, fire," which Stephens said attracted nearby residents' attention.

Grabbing the knife from his backpack, Autry managed to kick the shotgun from the man's hands and stabbed the woman in the chest, fatally wounding her. Stephens said. In the melee, Autry also stabbed one of the male suspects. Another suspect attempted to shoot Autry with a .380 pistol, which misfired, Stephens said.

The suspects ran back to the Cadillac and drove to Atlanta Medical Center, where police arrested them.

Autry, honorably discharged in 1992 after serving in Operation Desert Storm in Saudi Arabia, spoke to a gaggle of reporters from the porch of his apartment about six block north of the King Center in downtown Atlanta.

Autry recounted the attack, saying he first realize something was amiss when he saw a white cat scurry across the road. That's when he turned around and saw the armed attackers getting out of a stopped car.

He said his military training kicked in, but "what really helped me was growing up in New York."

He said he changed his locks after the incident because of security concerns.

When told that many in the metro area consider him a hero for his actions, Autry disagreed.

"The heroes are those guys out there fighting for us every day and not getting respect," he said, referring to military personnel fighting in Iraq and elsewhere. "That [killing the attacker] wasn't admirable, it was fight or flight and I tried the flight."
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Bryan Lee
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Posts: 27


« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2006, 03:42:13 AM »

Former Marine Talks About Robbery

By Tiffany Cochran
WXIA-TV

ATLANTA, GA -- The 36-year-old former U.S. Marine who fought off five attackers, killing one of them and critically injuring another, reflected on the incident Wednesday.

The late-night attack Monday left Thomas Autry with severe bruising from being punched in the chest with brass knuckles. He also suffered a cut on his finger but said he knows it could have been much worse.

"I was going to survive. It was either me or them and I choose me in that equation!" Autry said from Midtown Atlanta. At 6 feet, 6 inches tall, Autry is hard to miss. The five would-be teenage robbers targeted him as a potential crime victim as he walked home from his job as a waiter.

"I hear a car gun its engine and they jumped out of the car and started chasing me," he said. The next thing Autry knew is that he was being attacked by five different people -- one with brass knuckles, one with a pistol, and another with a rifle.

What the suspected robbers didn't know is that Autry is a former Marine who never forgot his combat training. In an instant, fear shifted into action and he knew he had to fight to save his life.

"I kicked the shotgun down. He was trying to reload it and I kicked it down. I wouldn't let him bring it up." Autry said the blows became more vicious and that's when he knew he had seriously injured or killed the female suspect with a box cutting knife he had in his pocket.

"They were trying to for real hurt me," he said. "She jumped in and was throwing flurries of punches. I'm 6-6 feeling her punches, mean, angry. They were trying to for real hurt me."

When it was over, 17-year-old Amy Martin was dead and a teenage boy critically injured from Autry's stab wounds. Three others, including a juvenile boy, are charged in the attack.

"That was a terrorist act. That was terrorism. That was homeland terrorism. There isn't any which way, if, ands or buts about it. They were terrorists," Autry said.

Autry said he's most bothered by the fact that all he had in his pocket that fateful night was less than $10. "I had roughly about $8 in my pocket. They tried to rob me for $8 and that's the part that is going to haunt me for the rest of my life. Somebody lost their life through my hands for $8."

Autry said he feels horrible that the 17-year-old girl died and his heart goes out to her family. He said the other four suspects should be tried as terrorists and should be rehabilitated.

Two of the suspects were ordered held without bail during their first court appearance Wednesday. One of the teens, 17-year-old Kendall Barksdale, was due to graduate from Grady High School Wednesday night. The other, 17-year-old Christopher Hayes, has a job at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and no criminal record. Attorney Bruce Harvey asked that Hayes be released on bond.

"I believe the evidence is gonna show that Mr. Hayes never got out of the vehicle, never approached anybody, never had possession of any weapon and, at the best, is the driver of the vehicle that the other people got out from," Harvey argued.

The judge was not swayed. He ordered both teens be held on armed robbery and aggravated assault charges until a June 14 preliminary hearing.
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