By Rob Morse
Louisiana- (Ammoland.com– Paul Lathrop was arrested last February of 2016.
Paul was accused of brandishing a firearm and making terroristic threats at a Nebraska truck stop. All charges were dropped earlier this week. Thank you to the many friends who helped fund Paul's defense. Here is what we all can learn.
Paul Lathrop is my friend. He drives a truck for a living. Paul was instructing a student driver when this happened. The student was behind the wheel as they moved through a truck stop. An irate driver who was parked in the lot climbed onto Paul’s truck to yell at Paul’s student. Paul diffused the situation rather than call 911.
That was an expensive mistake, though no one knew it at the time.
It was a mistake because the irate driver later called police and claimed that Paul threatened him and “waved a silver glock revolver out the window of the truck”. The irate driver won the race to the phone. The police therefore considered the irate driver to be the victim. Security video showed otherwise. The testimony of Paul and his student matched the video and indicated otherwise. The police only dropped the charges after Paul spent tens of thousands of dollars hiring a lawyer and repeated trips out of state to work through our legal system. Paul's lawyer had the truck stop video to exonerate Paul. Here is the important lesson.
The prosecuting attorney in Nebraska would have happily prosecuted and convicted an innocent man of firearms charges. The only way that justice was done was because a few hundred of us helped Paul pay for his defense. You only get the justice you pay for.
Thank you to the many people who supported Paul. We all need to have 20 to 30 thousand dollars sitting in the bank to pay for our defense or we will get abused by a prosecutor. If you don’t have those assets, then you should buy “insurance” plans that will pay for your bail and your legal defense. It is important that you choose a plan that will pay for your defense rather than reimburse you after your trial. The point being that you’ll have to come up with the $20k out of your own pocket before you would be reimbursed.
I am begging you. Please learn from other peoples’ experience since you probably can’t afford this lesson. Thank you to the Armed Citizen Legal Defense Network for helping Paul. The Armed Citizen Legal Defense Network did everything they could to help. They could not write a check because Paul was not a member at the time of the incident. Paul is a member now.
Here are the lessons in brief-
- Win the race to the 911 phone call.
- Have self-defense “insurance”.
- Don't expect “justice” from our legal system.
There is more to learn. Here are the podcasts where Paul described the incident, his arrest, his imprisonment, and his defense.
- I wrote about Paul’s arrest and the fundraising drive here and here.
- Listen to the interview with Bob Mayne on the Handgun World Podcast.
- Listen to the interview with Paul Carlson on the Safety Solutions Academy Podcast.
I will link to other interviews as they are released.
Rob Morse: Rob writes about gun rights at Ammoland, at Clash Daily and on his SlowFacts blog. He hosts the Self Defense Gun Stories Podcast and co-hosts the Polite Society Podcast. He is an NRA pistol instructor and combat handgun competitor.