Attorney shoots alleged robber
Attorney shoots alleged robber
BY DAVID OVALLE
A prominent Miami-Dade traffic-ticket lawyer, facing an armed robber, pulled a gun from his glove compartment and stopped his attacker with volley of fatal gunfire.
Driving his black Mercedes, Traffic Ticket Office's Scott Hidnert was backing out of his north-central Dade office Thursday night when the robber rushed him.
Handcuffs stuffed in his pocket and a ski mask pulled over his head, the attacker pointed his weapon at the attorney.
''I'm lucky to be alive,'' the attorney said.
Hidnert has been called the ''granddaddy'' of ticket defenders. He founded a firm called Ticket Busters in 1992, one of the first to focus on misdemeanors such as speeding and running red lights.
The firm's name changed to Traffic Ticket Office three years later. Today, the firm offers legal help in Miami-Dade for $69 and up.
The incident follows two other recent high-profile self-defense shootings, both fatal. Neither resulted in criminal charges.
Last year, a new Florida law was enacted that loosened the standard for self-defense, allowing threatened citizens to shoot first even if their attacker doesn't show a gun.
''I don't expect any charges. He had a gun and was aiming at me,'' Hidnert said. ``If his gun didn't jam, he would have shot me.''
Miami-Dade police spokesman detective Roy Rutland declined to discuss charges. ``The entire case is still under investigation.''
Said Miami-Dade State Attorney's spokesman Ed Griffith: ``As part of the normal procedure, we always review all of the details.''
Miami-Dade's homicide bureau didn't release the name of the slain robber.
Why target Hidnert? The attorney said he doesn't know.
The robber's name didn't appear in a database of clients.
The man, Hidnert's office believes, jumped the six-foot parking lot gate.
''He was crouched down behind a Dumpster,'' said Jonathan Bennett, the office manager of Traffic Ticket Office.
Hidnert's office gave this account:
The firm had a longtime office in Miami Shores before moving in December to a nearby building, 720 NW 102nd St. It is open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Although it was after closing time, staffers were waiting on a Bell South repairman to fix their haywire office phones, Bennett said. The repairman arrived and began work in front of the building.
About 9:45 p.m., Hidnert hopped in his black 2006 Mercedes E350, parked in the gated, well-lit parking lot. Suddenly, the gloved robber appeared.
Hidnert tried backing out, Bennett said. The electronic gate was too slow.
The man pulled the trigger of his weapon, but the gun jammed, Hidnert said. No words were exchanged.
Hidnert snapped open his glove compartment, grabbed his handgun, opened the driver's side-door and fired ''several shots,'' Bennett said.
Another robber, lurking beyond the gate, disappeared into the night.
A Miami Beach resident, Hidnert is married and has two children.
''It was a horrible experience,'' Hidnert said.
By Friday afternoon, Hidnert had returned to work.
Anyone with information on the case can call Miami--Dade's homicide bureau at 305-471-2400 or Miami-Dade CrimeStoppers at 305-471-8477.
1. Alleged robber? Ya think???
2. OK the BG is dead. Surely the gun will go to forensics. Do you really believe the lawyer when he says the BG pulled the trigger, unless the gun is found to be unloaded or defective? After all, dead men tell no tales. Hate to dis on this guy in an otherwise good shoot, but I'm suspicious.
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