As he stared down the barrel of a nickel-plated pistol wielded by a teenaged gunman demanding the keys to his Jeep, Jesse Rutledge said an odd thought entered his mind:
"I'm thinking, 'This kid is so little; how's he going to see over the steering wheel?'" said the 88-year-old former Tuskegee Airman who flew bombing missions over Japan in World War II.
That initial thought was replaced by fear, said Rutledge, who was carjacked by four youths as he left a barber shop near Harper and Van Dyke at about 4 p.m. Saturday.
What's this left out is the following: it was two separate incidents, and the 'hero' was humiliated by fellow black people in St. Louis...
"Yeah, I was scared." Rutledge, a former gunner on a B-25 bomber, shook his head. "I'm 80-something years old and I still got to fight out here."
Police arrested the alleged robbers — ages 13, 14, 15 and 16 — the next day.
The day of the incident started out like many Saturdays for Rutledge: He drove his 1999 Jeep Cherokee to the Sportzone Barber Shop not far from his home.
"I like to go down and see my buddies in the barber shop, and watch TV for awhile," he said. "I left the shop and was walking toward my Jeep, when these kids came out of this abandoned house and walked straight toward me like they know me or something.
"The littlest one had the gun and he did all the talking. He said, 'Give me your keys.' I was slow getting the keys and this kid racks his gun and tells me, 'You don't think I'll shoot you, do you (expletive)?' Where would someone that young get a gun like that?"
Rutledge, an Alabama native who heard the same racial epithet many times growing up in the Deep South and while serving in the military, said it was disconcerting to have an African-American youth call him that while leveling a pistol at him.
"I don't know what's wrong with these kids," he said. "When I was that age, I was working a mule, plowing fields. These kids have no home-training, I guess."Well, now add St. Louis to the cities in America where former members of the Tuskegee Airmen have been robbed and carjacked (by fellow blacks). [ Elderly Tuskegee Airman has car and cash stolen while lost in St. Louis, Fox2Now.com, August 17, 2015]:
A 93-year-old Tuskegee Airman had his car stolen and was robbed in two separate incidents on Sunday night. The robbery happened Sunday at McPherson and Sarah in North St. Louis.
Police say the victim got lost while driving to his daughter’s home Sunday at around 11:30am. The 93-year-old man pulled over to call his daughter. A man approached and entered the victim’s vehicle. The suspect took cash from the victim’s pant pocket. Then the suspect then got into another vehicle and left the scene. The victim lost sight of the older model black four door vehicle near the intersection of Walton and Page.
The victim drove to the intersection of Walton and Page. The elderly man got out of his car and asked two black males for help. They got into his car and drove away.No word on if the two black males called the 93-year-old Tuskegee Airman a n.i.g.g.e.r. as they drove off in his car...
If you find this story (and the one from only two year ago in Detroit) absolutely hilarious, you might be guilty totally understanding the St. Louis of pre-World War II America was a better place than the one existing now.