By Marcus Solis
(Bronx-WABC, November 5, 2003) — A mugger in the Bronx got quite a surprise when the 80-year-old man he attacked in an elevator pulled out a .38 caliber handgun. There was a struggle, a shot was fired, and now the elderly victim is being criminally charged.

Marcus Solis is in the Mott Haven section of the Bronx where he talked with the man.

Lester Campbell says the gun belonged to his mother, and that it was passed onto him when she died. And he said he would carry it with him when he went to cash checks.

Campbell had just cashed his Social Security check and gone to the supermarket near his house, when the mugger followed him into the elevator of his building. What the mugger didn\'t realize was that the octogenarian was packing heat.

And after Campbell pulled out his gun, a fierce struggle ensued.

Lester Campbell, Mugging Victim: \"He tried to keep the barrel away from him, twisting and turning. And when I was going to pull it, see, I lose some grip. And that\'s when he started twisting and twisting.\"

The mugger had knocked Campbell to the ground and ripped his pants while grabbing for his wallet. The retired security guard fired one shot that hit the side of the elevator, and richotted up into the ceiling.

The elevator stopped on the third floor where the suspect ran out, and Campbell cried out for help. The thief made off with $262 in Social Security money. And now Campbell\'s eye is bloodshot, and his cheek is purple from injuries he received in the assault.

Police however arrested Campbell and charged him with misdemeanor criminal possesion of a weapon. While he admits he knew the gun was unlicensed, Campbell insists he did nothing wrong.

Lester Campbell: \"He had no business doing that. I was minding my business. I don\'t bother nobody.\"

Ernest McKenzie, Building Resident: \"The way I feel, if he didn\'t have the gun probably something would happen to him, serious. And at the same time, he has to be licensed.\"

Police confiscated the gun, along with another one in the apartment. So Campbell was cited for two counts of misdemeanor criminal possession of a weapon, and was given a desk appearance ticket. He\'ll have a court appearance next month.