KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A would-be robber picked the wrong victim on Monday night.
A former member of the USA Judo team turned the tables on his assailant, who was armed with a BB gun. Josh Henges used the moves he learned during his martial arts career to subdue his attacker, KCTV reported.
Henges, 36, of Kansas City, Missouri, was walking home from a convenience store at about 8:15 p.m. when he felt someone grab his left shoulder and poke something in his back, the television station reported.
Henges has a black belt in judo, has competed internationally and was a coach, KMBC reported. Henges put his years of training and experience to work.
“He came from behind and grabbed my shoulder, and in judo when someone grabs your shoulder, there’s just a muscle memory in the way you move,” Henges told WDAF.
Henges turned around and saw a man pointing a gun at his head. Henges quickly used a foot sweep and a rear-naked chokehold to take the man to the ground, KMBC reported.
“He was in grabbing range of me,” Henges told KCTV. “You don’t have to hurt him. You just hold him in place, and there’s no permanent injury.”
That’s what Henges did, keeping his assailant pinned to the ground while calling the police.
Lunden Roulette, 20, of Kansas City, Missouri, was charged Wednesday in Jackson County with one count of attempted robbery in connection with the incident, KSHB reported.
Henges said he talked with Roulette as he held him down, asking why the man wanted to commit robbery.
“I’ve worked with transition-aged youth for a long time, worked with homeless folks my entire career, so I wanted to see what led him to this,” Henges told WDAF. “People have to own their behavior, but there’s also a reason they behave a certain way. To me, real justice is a changed heart, and a changed heart changes behavior.”
Judo means “the way of gentleness,” and Henges said the attempted robbery should not define Roulette.
“If I can forgive this kid, I hope anyone can forgive this kid,” Henges told WDAF. “He’s going to own it, and when he does, let’s find a way to make the most of his life.”