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Breaking: Robida captured

[UPDATE (11 PM): I added snippets from the latest AP feed below, and more commentary.]

CNN is reporting that New Bedford, Massachusetts gay bar rampager Jacob Robida was apprehended in Arkansas after a shootout with police there; one police officer died, one is injured. Robida was also injured and a woman who was with him at the time was also killed in the gun battle. (AP):

A teenager accused of going on a rampage at a Massachusetts gay bar with a hatchet and a gun was in a Missouri hospital Saturday after two shootings in northern Arkansas that resulted in the death of a police officer and a woman accompanying the wounded teen, state police said.

Jacob D. Robida, 18, was transported to a hospital at Springfield, Mo., after an exchange of gunfire with police in Norfork, according to state police spokesman Bill Sadler.

Sadler identified the slain officer as Jim Sell, a member of the Gassville police force. Sadler said he did not know the name of the woman who died in the gunfire at Norfork.

11 PM: There was a car chase before the shoot out; Robida took shots to the head and he may not survive. (AP):

Jacob D. Robida, 18, was shot twice in the head, and “it doesn’t look good right now,” said Massachusetts prosecutor Paul Walsh Jr. Walsh said the teen shot Officer Jim Sell, 56, twice during a traffic stop in this northern Arkansas town.

About 25 miles away, Robida sped over spike strips set out by state troopers but continued to drive with two punctured tires into downtown Norfork. Robida’s car then careened into several parked vehicles to avoid a police barricade.

“When he wrecked he started firing at our officer and a state police officer, and the officers returned fire,” said Baxter County Sheriff John Montgomery.

The teen shot the woman in the car with him before he was wounded in the shootout with police, Walsh said. State police wouldn’t confirm Walsh’s account and said ballistics tests would determine how the woman died.

His passenger was Jennifer Rena Bailey, 33, of Charleston, W.Va., the West Virginia State Police said. “Apparently she’s had a prior relationship with this guy and had been corresponding with him,” said state police Sgt. C.J. Ellyson.

Robida had apparently picked Bailey up at her home, Ellyson said.

If Robida doesn’t make it, it will spare everyone the horror of a trial where a “gay panic” defense would be floated; one assumes at the very least a “mental disease or defect” defense would be in the offing.

In an earlier article in SouthCoastToday, a pathetic picture of Robida, his friends and the mindset emerges. They firmly believed it was a set-up or a case of mistaken identity.

Mr. Robida attended New Bedford High School and Dartmouth High School but never finished, according to school records. He dropped out of Dartmouth High in December 2003, eventually attending night school without earning a degree, according to school records.

After leaving school, friends recalled he briefly sorted clothes at the Salvation Army in New Bedford and then worked construction with his father.
In his spare time, he and fellow Insane Clown Posse fans met at one another’s houses. They played video games, watched television and “chilled.” The friends said Mr. Robida didn’t have a girlfriend and that he smoked marijuana, but nothing stronger.

When police searched Mr. Robida’s house on County Street following the shooting, they found Nazi regalia and anti-Semitic writing on his bedroom walls, according to a police affidavit. Friends said he also wore a fake swastika tattoo on his thumb, but quickly said they’d never heard him express disdain or hatred for anyone.
He did have Nazi flags in his room, but that doesn’t mean he was a bad person,” Ms. Silva said.

Other friends called it a phase, paraphernalia Mr. Robida was drawn to without any real thought or malice.

Alrighty then. We can see from this crowd that it’s no surprise this has unfolded the way it did.


I did surf by Freeperland to see if there was any commentary. Not that I really thought at this point there would be actually anyone behind Robida’s actions (most are hoping he kicks it). Two quotes, however, jumped out at me that were worth posting:

Actual Freeper Quotesâ„?

I’d like to skip the costs associated with a trial, but I admit to being morbidly curious. What would have possessed him to go into a gay bar with a hatchet and a pistol and start shooting at random?

I doubt this guy had no views on Jesus. These cases seem to have something to do with religion (or anti religion) but they seem to never be investigated in depth. The media finds it’s angle, guns or in this case anti-gay but is that what really stirs these guys insane passions?

As you can see, no one seems to have a clue that the homobigotry that oozes out of the swamps of Freeperland and the mouths and pulpits of the AmTaliban has anything to do with this.

They must claim the Jacob Robidas of the world, because these disillusioned, poorly educated people out there see that leaders in the public eye demonize gays each and every day, working successfully in many places to legalize discrimination. What message does that send?

These are the fruits of Dobson and his bible beaters, as well as “friends” like Karl Rove who see gay-bashing tactics as nothing more than a political game for votes. Well it’s no game when you’re on the receiving end of hate and violence.

* PageOneQ: See Robida’s Nazi-loving website
* The face of hate in New Bedford via the Web
* Man, 18, sought in gay bar attack
* Massachusetts
* Enact Federal Hate Crime Laws Now

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding