Only in a liberal-run state like California will a store owner get jailed for intervening in a robbery outside his shop. It's backasswards but true, according to local television station KTVU.
In Oakland's Chinatown, a store owner was arrested Monday when he fired his handgun in the air to chase off a criminal who was mugging a woman outside his shop. No one was injured at the time of the incident, but the 36-year-old man was arrested and faces one felony assault with a firearm.
Robbery in #OaklandChinatown before 6pm Community leader tells me a thief knocked down a woman in her 30’s to steal her camera. Shop owner intervenes, struggles w/ suspect & fires 4 shots . Suspect gets away in vehicle No serious injuries #KTVU pic.twitter.com/bk3BNOLpsE— Amber Lee (@AmberKTVU) February 16, 2021
Oakland's Chinatown has been hit with a recent wave of assaults and robberies. Members in the community have pooled together funds and hired private security guards to patrol the streets.
Oakland's new police chief commented on Monday's incident at a press conference on Tuesday.
"We don't want people to fire weapons into our community. There could be unintended victims," Chief LeRonne Armstrong said.
The store owner was bailed out on Tuesday with a $60k bond, the police department said.
Head of the Chinatown Chamber of Commerce, Carl Chan, told CBS San Francisco that when he "talks to the entire community they feel sad that someone is trying to help others and ends up to be the one arrested or being in custody."
Chan has been advocating for more police presence in the area. As we noted above, armed security guards already patrol the streets, funded by the public.
"So, I think many of the people feel strongly that we should be supporting the store owner," Chan said.
He added that more shop owners would have to intervene in violent crimes outside their stores without a police presence in Chinatown.
This incident sets a horrible precedent for store owners who may decide not to intervene in a violent crime outside their store because they fear any action they would take may result in jail.