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Wrestling coach takes down alleged robber


UPI News Service, 08/14/2011 

An alleged would-be robber ended up at the wrong end of a gun when he tried to rob a Florida man who is a wrestling coach, police said.

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Fred Kemp, 63, and his wife, Julie, 53, had just finished dinner at a local restaurant and were getting into their car when the alleged robber, Richard Nowling, 41, stuck a gun in Fred Kemp's face, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported Sunday.

Kemp, who is 5-foot-7-inches tall and weighs 150 pounds, instinctively pushed the gun away in Thursday's incident, but Nowling allegedly started hitting him in the head with the weapon.

"He started to hit me, so I reacted from there," Kemp said Friday. "I got him out into the street and held his arm. I foot-sweeped him down and I was trying to get a hold of the gun. He banged me up a little bit but my main concern was the gun."

Kemp, of Boynton Beach, said he then put Nowling in a "sleeper hold," and when the suspect's oxygen started running out, his wife, Julie Kemp, grabbed the gun.

"He asked me to let him go when I had him down," Kemp said. "I said, 'No, I'm not going to do that.'"

Nowling, of Stuart, was charged with armed robbery and aggravated battery.

Nowling's criminal history includes drug, theft and burglary charges.

Kemp coaches wrestling for the New York State Junior Olympic team and is a volunteer assistant wrestling coach at American University in Washington, D.C.

"In retrospect," Smith said, "it's not a wise move, but it was my reflexes and I'm fairly comfortable in being able to handle myself. So I did what came natural.

"I'm happy that no one got hurt and a guy like that is off the street," Smith said.


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