A man in New York City was being charged with reckless endangerment after he saved a woman getting mugged.
43-year-old John Rote came to the rescue of a woman who was being robbed at a subway station by a homeless man and warned him off by firing several shots.
He allegedly fired two shots in the direction of the homeless mugger in a Manhattan subways station after the villain attacked a woman at 10:00 p.m. Tuesday night.
The incident unfolded when 49-year-old Matthew Roesch held up the emergency gate for the woman while she was entering the subway station.
NEW: New York man John Rote has been arrested after he saved a woman from getting robbed by a homeless man in a Manhattan subway station.
The current state of New York City.
On Tuesday evening, Rote noticed that a woman was getting robbed and immediately jumped into action. The… pic.twitter.com/1vbhjowNpl
— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) November 9, 2023
According to NYPD Chief of Detectives Joseph Kenny, “Mr. Roesch begins to follow her, demanding money. She won’t give it to him. He says, ‘Give me a dollar, or I’m going to take your purse.'”
Kenny said that Rote then told Roesch to “leave her alone” before firing a shot at the homeless man’s feet.
NYPD Inspector Steven Hill said that Roesch is known for pressuring commuters to give him money and has been a “constant problem.”
Kenny added that Rote’s reaction “was just an impulsive thing to do,” after witnessing a crime.
“He was just stepping in, he thought he was trying to help this woman,” he explained.
Meet 43-year- old John Rote.
He was on a subway yesterday when witnessed a homeless man trying violently to rob a woman.
He ordered the would be mugger to "leave her alone" and then fired a couple warning shots, thwarting the robbery attempt.
The NYPD arrested him for doing… pic.twitter.com/Zbg1ul632C
— I Meme Therefore I Am 🇺🇸 (@ImMeme0) November 9, 2023
The officer also noted that Rote was immediately worried about the safety of those around him after the incident.
“He was concerned, asking if he hurt anybody,” Kenny commented.
Rote was arrested at his workplace on Wednesday afternoon and did not resist when officers came for him at his desk.
Rote was charged with criminal possession of a firearm, criminal possession of a weapon, reckless endangerment, and menacing according to the New York Times.
New York officials strongly criticized Rote, emphasizing the unacceptability of his actions.
“I want to be clear: we don’t tolerate this kind of conduct in NYC Transit, period,” NYC Transit President Richard Dave commented on the incident.
“Once again cameras recorded a perpetrator, and we are grateful the NYPD made an arrest within hours,” he continued.
"Once again cameras recorded a perpetrator, and we are grateful the NYPD made an arrest within hours. Thank goodness nobody was hurt here – but what occurred was outrageous, reckless, and unacceptable."
Words directed at the guy who scared off a mugger.https://t.co/uBKyhzEn5q
— Jay Caruso (@JayCaruso) November 10, 2023
“Thank goodness nobody was hurt here – but what occurred was outrageous, reckless, and unacceptable.”
Roesch now faces third-degree attempted robbery charges and has been released under court-ordered supervision, despite prior arrests for subway scamming.
Rote, who has no previous criminal history, was held until Friday morning, when he posted $10,000 bail.
He refused to comment as photographers followed him home to Astoria, but his defense attorney, Marie Calvert-Kilbane, wasn’t shy about speaking about her client.
“This is not someone who was buying [guns] on the street,” she remarked.
He was “concerned for his safety and someone else’s safety and reacted … [Rote] was really concerned for someone else,” the lawyer added.
Meanwhile, the unidentified 40-year-old victim said Rote was a “hero,” but wishes he didn’t fire his weapon, during the situation she described as “pure terror.”
“I said, ‘I’m not going to give him any money’ and kept walking. He followed me. He kept demanding money and he said, ‘if you don’t give me money, I’m going to take your bag,'” she recalled.
“I was trying to walk away from him, but he was following me and getting very close.”
That’s when when Rote fired several warning shots on the subway platform.
“Of course, I am happy that that man tried to help me and that nobody was injured during this incident, but it’s scary to think that people are carrying guns around the city,” she said about her savior.
“I understand why people do it, they see it as their only means of protection,” the woman continued.
She said the event unfolded in seconds, and that Roesch was unfazed when Rote initially pointed the gun at him, and continued to harass her.
It wasn’t until the second shot was fired that the mugger backed away, giving her the chance to flee with the 40 others on the platform.
She took refuge in a maintenance room when a worker opened the door to see what was happening, and blockaded the door once they were safely inside.
While she is extremely grateful to Rote for saving her life, she didn’t relish being “terrified” when she saw the gun pointed in her direction.
“In this case the man risked a lot to protect me, his safety, and the safety of other people on the platform,” she said.
“Yes, I do think he is a hero, but I don’t know, I would likely think him a bigger hero if he tried to help me without the gun,” the woman continued.
“In my eyes, the gun is a little extreme. It was a very dangerous situation, anything could have happened.”
She also bashed the MTA and NYPD for lackluster safety measurements for strap-hangers and few consequences for criminals.
“The homeless people are allowed to do what they want without punishment. They let that guy go,” she stated about Roesch.
“That sends a message that they can do what they want and get away with it. He’s going to continue to do this again and again.”