300 pound armed robber picks on wrong Marine

Discussion in 'Cop Talk' started by jacquejet, Jan 12, 2010.

  1. jacquejet

    jacquejet

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    http://www.times-news.com/local/local_story_012140824.html

    LAVALE — When a 6-foot tall, 300-pound convicted armed robber allegedly attacked Cumberland resident Ronnie Welsh in the Country Club Mall parking lot Sunday evening, he clearly picked on the wrong man.

    Shortly after 6 p.m., Welsh and his wife, Nancy, pulled into the LaVale mall parking lot near the AMC Theatres.

    “We walk at the mall regularly and I just got out of my vehicle when this guy came at me — from where I don’t know. I didn’t look at the man’s size. I looked at him as a threat,” said the founder of the All Seasons Heating and Air Conditioning company.

    “He said, ‘Marine, I want your money,’ ” recalled Welsh, who was wearing an “Honor Guard” ball cap at the time. A Marine Corps license plate frame and decal must have identified Welsh as a Marine.

    The suspect punched Welsh in the jaw and knocked him to the ground. Welsh continued to kick and struggle with his assailant when he felt something in his right hand.

    “All of a sudden I felt something in my hand. I grabbed it by the blade and then the handle and took it from him (suspect Woodrow Tavon DeVaughn Small). He backed off of me and then went for my wife. I got up and went after him. He saw I had the knife. I was trying to get to his throat. He must have had my arm. I couldn’t get to his throat like I wanted to. It was just chaos. I was poking at him,” said Welsh, who attended LaSalle High School for several years before graduating from Allegany High School.

    Nancy Welsh screamed throughout the ordeal that lasted several minutes before two passersby approached to intervene as the suspect ran from the area. Another person in the area, however, didn’t offer any help.

    “A guy pulled up in his car and got out and I asked him if he could help us. He just got back in his vehicle and drove away,” she said.

    Maryland state troopers arrived within minutes, thanks to a 911 call that Nancy made at the outset of the incident. Troopers searched the area for the suspect, who allegedly tried to enter an occupied vehicle in his efforts to elude police. Minutes later, a citizen on nearby Walker Road informed police that his motions lights activated and there were fresh footprints in the snow. Troopers converged on the area and quickly arrested Small, who was hiding beneath a vehicle.

    The suspect was escorted back to the mall parking lot where he remained in custody as the victims were assembled to individually identify him.

    Welsh was eager to approach the ex-convict who assaulted him and ripped his pants from the waist to the hem in an unsuccessful attempt to get his wallet.

    “When you approached me, you called me a Marine. I am a Marine and I will always be a Marine,” Welsh yelled in Small’s face in the fashion of a drill sergeant.

    All the victims positively identified Small as the suspect, which led to numerous charges and Small’s incarceration in the Allegany County jail on a half-million dollar bond. Additional charges are pending against Small in an alleged assault and robbery of a woman at the Country Club Mall on Jan. 3 at about 2:30 p.m. The incident occurred in the same area where the Welshes were assaulted.

    Welsh and his wife were honored Tuesday by Maryland State Police.

    “Without regard for his own safety, Mr. Welsh engaged in a struggle with the suspect,” read a Good Citizens Award presented to the couple in an informal ceremony at the Cumberland barrack by Lt. Todd May, barrack commander, and Capt. James Pyles, Western Troop commander. “Mr. Welsh sustained a cut and broken toe during the struggle but successfully disarmed the suspect who fled on foot. During the struggle, Mrs. Welsh acted quickly and made a call to 911 to report the crime. As a result of their actions, bravery and detailed description they provided to responding troopers, the subject was successfully apprehended.”

    Welsh, who is a member of the American Legion and the Mountainside Marine Corps League, said his training and experience as a Marine factored in his response to the attack.

    “When you go through boot camp in the Marines, they teach you to survive. I tried to survive. My training as a Marine came in to play. But Nancy was a trooper through it all. She’s the hero. She wouldn’t leave me,” said Welsh.

    “All I could do was scream and scream and scream. I kept trying to call 911. I wanted to kick him,” said Nancy, who made the 911 call at 6:10 p.m. She also expressed gratitude to state police “for their kind compassion through this.”

    Pyles said, “Mr. Welsh proudly served his country in the Marine Corps and on Jan. 10, 2010, he proudly served the citizens of Allegany County.”

    Without Small’s arrest within a half hour of the assault, police believe there would probably have been more attacks and more victims at the hand of Small. He was reportedly residing on Maryland Avenue in Cumberland at some point after serving a 20-year prison term for armed robbery. Small apparently was released from prison a year ago but it was not immediately known how long he had lived in Cumberland. C3I is continuing to investigate the cases involving Small, including an alleged incident earlier Sunday where a man was robbed of his wallet and cell phone at the Holiday Inn parking lot.

    Sunday’s incident was not the first time Welsh and his wife have been victims of crime. In the late 1980s, they returned home to find burglars had entered and taken many of their belongings. A handprint on a sliding glass door ultimately led to the arrest of a suspect.

    Years earlier, Welsh was having morning coffee at a West Side restaurant when a gunman entered though a back door and emptied the cash register after forcing the occupants into a walk-in cooler. After the armed intruder fled, Welsh went looking for the suspect but couldn’t find him.

    As for the honors bestowed upon them, Welsh said, “ I don't know that we deserve it. I was trying to defend my honor and country in the Marines, and I am still trying to defend it. I just want people to know the veterans organizations are responsible for keeping the American dream alive. It’s God and country,” he said.

    Welsh and his wife recommend keeping 911 on speed dial to call for help without hesitation under duress.

    “There are a lot of people that made this work. People need to get involved,” said Welsh. “I really think that honest people need to look out for each other.”
     
  2. Hack

    Hack Crazy CO Gold Member

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    I am glad for them that everything worked out OK. I am glad for his service as a Marine, and as a citizen.
     

  3. seanmcp

    seanmcp CLM

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    Amazing that people don't help. Sad, but common. Now, I'm hoping in a similar situation my wife would have just shot the sorry sunofa..... :)
     
  4. Bushido5150

    Bushido5150

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    If he would have been a GNG'r he would have handle it a lot better. He would not have needed help and would have made the arrest himself...:rofl:
     
  5. Sharkey

    Sharkey

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  6. fla2760

    fla2760

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    Kudos to the Marine. I only wish Mr Welsh had a gun and ended this mutt's career for good.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2010
  7. TACC GLOCK

    TACC GLOCK SEMPER FIDELIS

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    Semper Fi,

    Glad it all worked out
     
  8. lawman800

    lawman800 Juris Glocktor

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    It just keeps getting better, don't it?
    Good for the Marine. We need more people like him... heck, if everyone was more like him, we'd out of a job.

    But... one OC'er or 1 CCW'er wold have prevented all of this. (had to say it)
     
  9. lawman800

    lawman800 Juris Glocktor

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    It just keeps getting better, don't it?
    Nice to have 2 middle names... even nicer that they rhyme.:whistling:
     
  10. Newcop761

    Newcop761 CLM

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    Three first names for each of the suspect fathers?:whistling:

    Good job Marine.
     
  11. Blitzer

    Blitzer Cool Cat

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    Good work Mr. Welsh, I guess you didn't have a CCW.
     
  12. Deployment Solu

    Deployment Solu Kydex Crafter

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    A 300lb robber named SMALL??? Now that's funny!!! :rofl::rofl: Great job Marine. This is why I carry a gun 24/7.


    Crime will come to a stop when all the criminals get killed in the commission of their crimes by the good guys .
     
  13. irish_ironsight

    irish_ironsight

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    Always good to know that there's a U.S Marine securing my local mall. Just a pity that it being Maryland that Ronnie Welsh U.S.M.C retired couldn't have just shot the SOB.

    That's Maryland for you !
     
  14. MeefZah

    MeefZah Cover is Code 3

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    I'm guessing this guy must be older, although the article doesn't say.

    The part describing his disarming of the suspect is pretty unclear. I'm presuming no one was injured despite grabbing the knife by the blade, and repeated attempts to stab the suspect in the throat?

    The suspect is twice over a ******bag, first for intending to victimize anyone and second for targeting a Marine.
     
  15. 9jeeps

    9jeeps

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    No wounds were listed on Small that I can read. Yet there was a knife involved. I did read where Welsh poked him some. What am I missing here? Was it one of those UK knives?:dunno:

    Would be nice if Small got trimmed down a lil bit.:whistling:
     
  16. HighwayStarPP

    HighwayStarPP bang bang bang

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    good job on the marines part :)
     
  17. lawman800

    lawman800 Juris Glocktor

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    It just keeps getting better, don't it?
    Maybe the knife couldn't penetrate deep enough on Small's 300 pound fat *** body.
     
  18. Kadetklapp

    Kadetklapp Methberry PD

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    Excellent. It's too bad that the Marine wasn't able to pull his piece and euthanize this mope. If he would've gone after my wife there would have been epic hell to pay.
     
  19. NC Bullseye

    NC Bullseye

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    Do they even make a hollow point harpoon?
     
  20. GlocknSpiehl

    GlocknSpiehl NRA Life Member

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    It was in the People's Republik of Maryland: home of the disarmed and disenfranchised.