**A Queens man fights for his freedom after defending himself from a dangerous criminal**
Charles Foehner, a 65-year-old man from Queens, managed to defend himself against a would-be mugger but now faces potential charges that could strip him of his freedom. While protecting his life and property, Foehner finds himself charged with weapon possession crimes. The question arises: is self-defense a crime when authorities fail to protect citizens from criminals?
Foehner’s encounter with Cody Gonzalez, a 32-year-old with an extensive criminal record, occurred early Wednesday morning outside a parking garage in Kew Gardens. According to sources, Gonzalez had already attempted break-ins, smashed windows and doors, and destroyed an intercom system. Foehner claimed he mistook a pen in Gonzalez’s hand for a knife, prompting Gonzalez to demand money and cigarettes aggressively.
Surveillance footage from WPIX shows Gonzalez confronting Foehner from a distance, advancing even when faced with a silver revolver drawn by Foehner. With just eight feet between them, Foehner reportedly fired his revolver, hitting Gonzalez multiple times. After the incident, Foehner called 911, informed them of his weapon possession, and turned himself in to the authorities.
Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said, “This is a complicated case, and we’re going to review the evidence.” However, for Foehner’s neighbors and even some of Gonzalez’s relatives, the situation is clear-cut. Vercelle Evans, a local resident, stated, “He was protecting himself…This is the circumstances when you randomly just rob people. You never know what you’re going to get.” Angel Rodriguez also asserted that citizens should be allowed to protect themselves in cases like this.
Stephan Gonzalez, a relative of the alleged mugger, agreed that Foehner should not be blamed. He said, “We don’t fault the shooter…If anything, the state failed him.” Cody’s cousin Anthony Aguilar added, “You can’t blame him for defending himself.”
**When citizens are forced to defend themselves from criminals in a city that fails to protect them, should self-defense be considered a crime?**