Man attacked by robber, fights back, is charged with murder

Robby Soave Reporter
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A robber attacked Washington D.C. tow truck driver, striking him in the head with a gun, but the driver successfully fought back — and now faces a murder charge.

The driver, 35-year-old Corey Stoddard, was approached by 22-year-old Kevin Lewis Crouch in a tow lot in northeast D.C. earlier this week. Crouch asked Stoddard about a green car. Stoddard replied that there was no green car in the lot, prompting Crouch to draw a gun and threaten him.

Stoddard attempted to run away, but tripped and fell. Crouch repeatedly struck him in the head with the gun, according to The Washington Post.

Finally, Stoddard flung his wallet toward a fence, and Crouch ran after it. While Crouch was distracted, Stoddard climbed into his tow truck and ran over his assailant. Crouch died from his injuries a few hours later.

Stoddard readily admitted these details to police.

He has now been charged with second-degree murder. Police rejected arguments that Stoddard was merely attempting to flee in his tow truck, or acting in self-defense.

Stoddard is free for now, but must wear an ankle monitor.

Crouch has a criminal record: He was convicted of carjacking in 2009, when he was 17, and served four years in a youth facility. As part of his plea deal, several assault and gun charges were dropped.

Since Crouch was the instigator — and attacked Stoddard with a gun — many say the homicide charge is inappropriate.

“I don’t think he should get no second-degree murder,” said one of Stoddard’s neighbors in an interview with local news.

Police did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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