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Heartwarming Story—With A Curious Omission
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March 30, 2008, 06:32 PM
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This story, via Tim Blair, is the sort of thing that`s always good to hear:
Police: Teen makes mistake of trying to rob former U.S. Marine - San Jose Mercury News

Bay City News Service Article Launched: 03/27/2008 10:39:20 AM PDT

SANTA ROSA - A boy in his mid-teens learned Wednesday afternoon that it is not a good idea to try to rob a former U.S. Marine at knifepoint, even if the former Marine is 84 years old, police said today.

Santa Rosa police Sgt. Steve Bair said that`s what happened around 2 p.m. in the 1600 block of Fourth Street. The elderly man was walking with a grocery bag in each arm when the boy approached him with a large knife, Bair said.

The boy said, "Old man, give me your wallet or I`ll cut you," Bair said. The man told the boy he was a former Marine who fought in three wars and had been threatened with knives and bayonets, Bair said.

The man then put his bags on the ground and told the boy that if he stepped closer he would be sorry. When the boy stepped closer, the man kicked him in the groin, knocking him to the sidewalk, Bair said. The ex-Marine picked up his grocery bags and walked home, leaving the boy doubled over, Bair said.

The man reported the attempted robbery to police 45 minutes later.

Bair said the teen is described only as 15 or 16 years old. Anyone with information is asked to call the Police Department.

The teen is "described only as 15 or 16 years old?" I realize that the unnamed ex-Marine is 84, but if he can see well enough to kick him in the groin, he can see well enough to see if he`s white, black, Hispanic, or Asian. It`s the first thing that people notice, sometimes before they notice if they`re talking to a man or a woman, and it`s the primary means of identification for policeman looking for a suspect. Chalk up another one for the AP Stylebook.

More here—with different details of his age and service, but still no details of the teenager.