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PQQLK9
02-22-2005, 10:06 PM
Posted on Tue, Feb. 22, 2005

Man hurt in pool hall robbery

By DAVID WEISS dweiss@leader.net

EDWARDSVILLE – Confined to his wheelchair, James Lee tried to wrestle a gun from a burly man who stormed a borough pool hall early Monday morning in a robbery attempt.

During the struggle, Lee was struck twice in the head with the weapon. One of the blows caused the gun to fire, launching a bullet into Lee’s head.

The 41-year-old Larksville man was taken to Wilkes-Barre General Hospital for emergency surgery. Police said Lee made it through surgery but remained in the intensive care unit as of Monday afternoon.

The suspect remains at large.

The robbery unfolded around 12:15 a.m. Monday when the armed suspect entered Guys ‘N’ Dolls Billiard Lounge on Wyoming Avenue and ordered eight patrons to drop to the floor and lie face down, police Chief Michael Slusark said.

The suspect demanded money from the clerk and the patrons.

Lee was in his wheelchair and put some cash on a machine for the robber. But the suspect still wanted Lee to drop to the floor.

“He said, ‘I can’t. I’m in the wheelchair,’ ” Slusark said.

That’s when the suspect first struck Lee. The second blow came a short time later.

Slusark said the suspect only got some money from Lee, but never money from the cash register because the clerk said he could not open it without a key.

The suspect fled the hall. Police followed footsteps left in snow by the suspect. They led police to the rear of the nearby Gateway Shopping Center where police believe the suspect entered an awaiting vehicle and fled the scene.

By late Monday morning, Lee’s snow-covered vehicle remained parked in the hall’s lot.

It was a bad sign to Donnie George.

He manages a neighboring beer distributor, Wyoming Valley Beverage, and realized, once he saw the vehicle, that his friend Lee had been the victim of the shooting.

“Jimmy’s one of the easiest-going guys,” said George, who’s known Lee for about three years. Lee sometimes works at the hall. “I like Jimmy. He’s the nicest guy in the world.”

George was relieved to learn Lee had made it through surgery.

“That’s good because I was nervous,” he said.

George said Lee was working at the register during the robbery, but Slusark said Lee was a patron.

Slusark said the suspect is a Hispanic male in his late teens or early 20s, about 5 feet 9 inches tall, well-built, weighing about 220 to 250 pounds. He was wearing a black baseball hat backwards, with a gray camouflage bandana covering his face from the bridge of his nose to his chin, a white t-shirt, a gray hooded sweatshirt and dark blue, baggy pants.

He speaks with a Hispanic accent and had dark eyes.
David Weiss, a Times Leader staff writer, may be reached at 831-7397.
link (http://www.timesleader.com/mld/timesleader/10959327.htm)

PQQLK9
02-23-2005, 07:58 AM
Wife: Victim of robbery better, but still in ICU

By KRIS WERNOWSKY kwernowsky@leader.net

EDWARDSVILLE – The condition of a wheelchair-bound Larksville man who was shot in the head during an armed robbery Monday morning is improving, according to his wife.

“He’s still in the ICU, but he’s doing better,” said Carol Lee, the wife of James Lee, 41, who was battered and shot. “He’s recovering. He’s awake. He knows who we are.”

The robbery happened at about 12:15 a.m. on Monday when an armed man entered Guys ‘N’ Dolls Billiard Lounge on Wyoming Avenue and ordered eight people to drop to the floor and lie face down, according to police.

The robber demanded Lee get on the ground, but he couldn’t because he is paralyzed below the waist.

When Lee continued to protest that he couldn’t get out of the wheelchair, the two began to struggle and the suspect struck him twice in the head with the gun, police said. The second blow discharged the firearm and Lee was struck in the head by the single bullet.

Fifteen minutes later, Carol Lee was awakened by a phone call to let her know her husband was shot. She woke their daughters, 11 and 12, and they went to Wilkes-Barre General Hospital. Lee was in surgery for more than four hours, she said.

“Now that we know he’s recovering, we’re much better,” she said. “It shakes you up.”

As of Tuesday, the suspect remained at large, according to Edwardsville police Chief Michael Slusark.

Lee was paralyzed from the waist down seven years ago when he fell from a scaffold at a construction site in Hazleton and broke his back, according to his wife.

“He’s had more than his share of bad luck,” she said. “We had all kinds of plans and very few of them ever happened.”

Lee worked as a part-time employee at the pool hall. He is a longtime friend of Guys ‘N’ Dolls’ owner David Walkowiak, according to Lee’s wife.

It was unclear whether Lee was working or hanging out at the pool hall the night of the shooting. Walkowiak refused to speak about the incident when approached at the pool hall Tuesday afternoon.

The shooter is described as a Hispanic male in his late teens or early 20s, about 5 feet, 9 inches tall, well-built, weighing about 220 to 250 pounds. He was wearing a black baseball hat with a gray camouflage bandana covering his face from the bridge of his nose to his chin, a white t-shirt, a gray hooded sweatshirt and dark blue, baggy pants.
Kris Wernowsky, a Times Leader staff writer, may be reached at 831-7329

Wally_in_Cincy
02-23-2005, 08:58 AM
Anybody who would beat a guy in a wheelchair should be removed permanently from society.

And then there are these 2 scumbags that beat the hell out of an 82-year-old man in a Cincy home invasion.

http://www.wcpo.com/news/2005/local/02/21/norwood.html

FastJoey
02-23-2005, 07:40 PM
shooting a person in a wheelchair !!! that's as low of a terrorist act as you can imagine.it would be great for vigilantes to get this slug and save the taxpayers some money..God Bless James Lee your in our prayers..........