(LibertySociety.com) – On Nov. 9, John Rote, 43, was arrested after he allegedly fired two warning shots in an attempt to stop a woman from being robbed on a New York City subway platform. Rote, of Queens, New York, was identified by an unnamed acquaintance and arrested at his Manhattan job a day after he was seen walking out of the turnstile on surveillance camera. He has been charged with reckless endangerment, criminal possession of a firearm, criminal possession of a weapon as well as menacing.
The charges stem from a Nov. 8 incident on the 49th St. N, W, R subway platform when Rote allegedly fired two shots in an attempt to scare off a mugging suspect, who has been identified as a homeless man, Matthew Roesch, 49. Rote stated that he overheard the suspect demand the woman, 40, give him money or he would take her purse. Rote told authorities he then pulled out his gun and fired multiple warning shots into the air in an attempt to stop the robbery.
Video of the incident shows Rote slowly reach inside his backpack and taking out the handgun before firing the gun. He then yells at Roesch and moves closer to him before firing the gun for a second time. According to police, nobody was injured by the gun shots.
Officials say Roesch is “known to police” for being an alleged “swiper,” which is someone who swipes people through MetroCard turnstiles in return for tips. He was arrested following the incident and charged with attempted robbery.
The incident was “outrageous, reckless, and unacceptable” and would not be tolerated “in NYC Transit,” according to the New York City Transit President, Richard Davey. He added, “Thank goodness nobody was hurt.”
Violent crimes in New York City’s subway systems are not uncommon, with 37 people over the past two years being shoved onto the tracks. Transit crime has increased 29 percent since 2021.
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