The Armed Citizen® | Hotels

posted on October 18, 2016

With their bustling crowd of strangers in which to hide; registers packed with large bills; and large number of guest rooms typically containing cash, valuables or both, hotels are a frequent targets of thieves looking to make some easy money. Luckily, most people are aware of the potential risks, as detailed in the following stories of employees who fought back with firearms and travelers who packed more than just their toothbrush.

A soldier was staying at a hotel in Colorado Springs, Colo. when a man came up to his door and asked to check the plumbing. The soldier let the man into his room, but once inside, the man drew a knife and attempted to rob him. The soldier responded by retrieving a gun and forcing the criminal to the ground. (KSHB, Kansas City, Mo., 12/1/2015)           

Steven Robey and his daughter, Sarina, were staying at a North Fort Myers, Fla., hotel while house hunting. Robey called the front desk for room service one morning, and soon there was a knock at his door. He opened the door expecting to see coffee and doughnuts, but was instead greeted by two strange men demanding money. When Robey refused their demands, the men forced their way into the hotel room. One man pulled a gun and forced Robey onto a bed while the other intruder grabbed Sarina and began to drag her into the bathroom. Reacting quickly, Robey reached under his pillow and pulled out a .45-cal. pistol. He fired several times at the man holding him and then turned and fired several shots at the man who held his daughter, emptying his gun. Both suspects sustained several gunshot wounds and one died at the scene. Lee County Sheriff's Capt. Richard Chard said the investigation shows Robey was defending himself. "A gun was pointed at his head, and a man was taking his daughter into the bathroom," Chard said. "I feel I would have responded the same way." (The News-Press, Lee County, Fla., 8/25/2002) 

A night clerk was on duty at an Elkhart, Ind., hotel when two men wearing blue bandanas over their faces and holding their hands in their pockets walked in. The quick-thinking clerk reached behind the counter, grabbed his handgun for which he had a permit and pointed it at the unwelcome "guests" demanding that they leave. Both men were more than happy to comply and instantly fled the premises. (The Elkhart Truth, Elkhart, Ind., 3/22/2000) 

A female bandit used an all-too-real-looking BB pistol to get the drop on a Jackson, Tenn., hotel night clerk. While the robber's attention was on the cash register, the clerk locked himself in the office, where he watched the woman on a closed circuit television and armed himself with a .38. Unable to leave through the lobby's locked door, the robber began pounding on the office door. The clerk opened fire through the door, killing her. (The Sun, Jackson, Tenn., 1/19/1996) 

After a man gained entry to a Jericho, N.Y., hotel by opening his coat to prove to the manager that he was unarmed, the manager remarked that the inn had been robbed several times in the past month. Pulling a gun, the would-be guest replied "I know, I'm the robber." The manager pulled a .357 and killed the robber—who had several juvenile felony convictions and was a suspect in a string of armed robberies—with two shots. (Newsday, Long Island, N.Y., 10/22/1992) 

Dennis Brown of Atlanta, Ga.—featured in the January 1991 “Armed Citizen”—recently killed a second thug at the Atlanta, Ga., hotel where he works. Brown and a co-worker went to investigate an activated car alarm in the parking lot and brought a suspect back into the office. When he pulled a pistol and opened fire, both hotel employees returned the favor with their own guns, killing the gunman. (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Atlanta, Ga., 11/3/1991) 

Dennis Brown gave the armed robber the receipts from the Atlanta, Ga., hotel where he works, but when ordered to lie face down on the floor, he grabbed his gun and fired, killing the robber. Police said the man had criminal records, including armed robbery and assault, in at least three states. (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Atlanta, Ga., 10/11/1990) 

Coloradans James Rogers and his wife were in a Pomona, Calif., hotel room waiting to meet their two sons when Mrs. Rogers answered a knock at the door. A stranger forced his way inside, knocked her down and put a knife to her throat. Rogers retrieved a revolver and chased the assailant into the parking lot, where his sons were just arriving. The brothers joined the chase, caught the man, and wrestled him to the ground. After the assailant had knifed one of his sons, Rogers killed him with a single shot in the chest. The shooting was ruled justifiable homicide. (Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles, Calif., 12/29/1983) 

John G. Malascalza, clerk of a small Wilmington, Del., hotel was chatting with a guest in the lobby when two men entered and drew knives. One held a knife at the night manager's throat, took about $90 and a wristwatch, and marched Malascalza behind the desk. At that point the hotel manager snatched a hidden revolver from under the desk and shot the bandit dead. He then tossed the gun to the guest, who held the other thief at bay until police arrived. (Evening Bulletin, Philadelphia, Pa., 4/1/1969)


Frank Miniter
Frank Miniter

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