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Another report on self-defending cabbie

Originally ran here as:
Armed cabdriver foils robbery attempt
By Kathy Carlson, Staff Writer
September 11, 2001

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE -- A Nashville cabbie's fears were confirmed early yesterday morning when his passenger told him to pull over, then stuck something in his back and ordered him to hand over all his money, police said.

But the cabdriver pulled his own gun and fired several times at the passenger sitting in the back seat of the cab, police said.

Police identified the passenger as Harold Eugene Johnson, 28, whose address was given as the 900 block of 14th Avenue South in Nashville.

He suffered gunshot wounds to the arm and buttocks. Johnson was in stable condition yesterday in the trauma unit of Vanderbilt University Medical Center, a hospital spokesman said.

Upon release from the hospital, Johnson is expected to be charged in the robbery, Metro Police Robbery detective Mike Chastain said. Chastain declined to release the name of the cabbie, saying he was concerned for his safety.

The robbery occurred about 3:50 a.m. yesterday, Chastain said, after the cabbie picked up a man in west Nashville who wanted to go to the 14th or 15th Avenue South area.

As they neared their destination, the passenger's rapid requests to "turn here, turn there" made the cabbie uneasy, Chastain said. The driver already had reached for his gun when the passenger told him to pull over at 15th Avenue South and Wedgewood Avenue. When the man demanded money, the cabbie turned it over but then fired at the man, Chastain said. The wounded passenger fled, leaving behind blood-stained cash.

Johnson was caught a few blocks away, at 14th Avenue South and Horton Avenue. The cabbie identified Johnson, Chastain said.

The Davidson County District Attorney's office will review the case to determine whether the shooting was justified or whether the case should go to the grand jury, he said.

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...but if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude, that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people, while there is a large body of citizens, little if at all inferior to them in discipline and use of arms, who stand ready to defend their rights... Alexander Hamilton speaking of standing armies in Federalist No. 29.

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