Police arrested a New York man who was trying to protect a young woman allegedly being harassed by a homeless vagrant, according to the New York Post (NYP).
John Rote, a 43-year-old Queens resident, was allegedly trying to stop Matthew Roesch, a 49-year-old homeless man, who had allegedly cornered a woman and allegedly told her “If you don’t give me a dollar, I’m going to take your purse,” according to the New York Post (NYP).
Upon seeing the alleged attempted robbery, sources said Rote reached into his backpack and removed a firearm, yelling “Get away from her!’ before firing two warning shots into the air, per NYP.
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
Prosecutors charged Rote with criminal possession of a weapon, criminal possession of a firearm, reckless endangerment and menacing, NYP reported.
Prosecutors requested Rote be held on a $10,000 cash bond, which Judge Jay Weiner granted, according to NYP.
Meanwhile, prosecutors charged Roesch with third degree attempted robbery following the incident, and he was reportedly released Thursday. He was apparently already known to NYPD as a repeat offender of selling swipes, a process where he reportedly used a folded MetroCard to get straphangers past subway turnstiles without paying, NYP noted.
“He was arrested for selling swipes. That’s a felony, when you bend the cards,” NYPD Inspector Steven Hill said, per NYP. “That’s like criminal possession of burglar tools. You bend the MetroCards to get a free swipe,” he noted. (RELATED: ‘It’s Terrifying’: Businesses Flee Blue City In Droves As Crime Crushes Profits)
Rote’s lawyer, Marie Calvert-Kilbane, noted her client purchased the firearm legally over 13 years ago, claiming, “This is not someone who was buying [guns] on the street,” according to NYP. She claimed he was “concerned for his safety and someone else’s safety and reacted.”