The Man Who Almost Killed My Friend

 

 

DID THIS SKINHEAD THUG ACTUALLY CARE ABOUT HIS VICTIM? DID HE REALLY RETURN TO THE SCENE OF THE CRIME TO GET HELP?

By Steve Silkin

A career criminal skinhead thug almost killed my friend Mike Wendt by running him over during a carjacking. Mike suffered a fractured skull and debilitating brain injuries as a result.

This happened in Phoenix, in late 2014. I’m writing this now because Robert Dale Guenther was sentenced to 20 years in prison last week after pleading guilty to two layers of aggravated assault and another layer of aggravated robbery.

Mike barely survived. He spent about six weeks in a coma. But even with more than a year of recovery, he continues to suffer sleeplessness and other consequences of traumatic brain injury. He remembers nothing about what happened that night.

It was originally believed that Guenther snuck up on Mike from behind; an officer who knew Mike chatted about the case with him later, and said something like: I don’t think you would’ve let him walk off with your truck without a fight. Wouldn’t have happened, Mike assured him.

As I began putting the story together, that certainly seemed the case. But what if this story leads to somewhere unexpected? I’ve learned that there is more to the story of Robert Dale Guenther and Mike Wendt than is readily apparent.

Continue reading “The Man Who Almost Killed My Friend”

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‘Put the Gun Away, Put the Gun Away’

Rodney_King

LAPD Sgt. Stacey Koon 25 years ago prevented CHP Officer Melanie Singer from shooting and killing an African American driver known as Rodney King. Koon served 30 months in prison for saving King’s life; his words and actions stand in marked contrast with today’s rampant police shootings.

By Steve Silkin

Every time I see video of another police officer shooting and killing someone – justified or not, per policy or not – I think of former LAPD Sgt. Stacey Koon.

That’s because early on March 3, 1991 – that’s a generation ago this week, as a quarter-century has passed since that night in Lake View Terrace – “Rodney” Glen King led the California Highway Patrol on a chase that ended when King stopped his car and got out. CHP Officer Melanie Singer approached him with her gun drawn and aimed.

“Put the gun away, put the gun away,” Koon said, shouting at her because, as he testified at his state trial in Simi Valley the next year, he saw that King could be taken into custody without killing him.

And that’s when everything all went to hell.

Continue reading “‘Put the Gun Away, Put the Gun Away’”