Boys Attack Cyclist Who Fights Back, Kills 1: Cops

Man was justified in shooting after being attacked along Berks County trail, officials say

By Dan Stamm
|  Thursday, Jan 26, 2012  |  Updated 11:57 PM EDT
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A man riding his bike on a trail in Berks County was allegedly attacked by three teens.The cyclist fought back and shot two of the teens, killing one, cops said.

NBCPhiladelphia.com - Deanna Durante

A man riding his bike on a trail in Berks County was allegedly attacked by three teens.The cyclist fought back and shot two of the teens, killing one, cops said.

A 65-year-old man riding his bicycle along a Berks County trail became the target of three teenage boys looking to allegedly mug him Wednesday morning, according to authorities.

In a matter of moments the teens became the target of the cyclist, according to Cumru Township Police.

The three teens had cut school and were set on robbing people -- having already attacked two elderly men -- when they came upon the 65-year-old riding on the Thun Trail, according to Berks County District Attorney John T. Adams.

The cyclist was near the Bertolet Fishing Dock at S First Avenue and Chestnut Street in West Reading, Pa. around 11 a.m. when one of the teens knocked the man down, police said.

Adams picks it up from here:

"One of the juveniles punched the bike rider in the face, knocking him off his bike. Julius Johnson ran up to bike rider and kicked him."

That was when the 65-year-old pulled a gun and shot, officials said.

Johnson, 16, died at the scene while his 15-year-old alleged accomplice was taken to the hospital with a gunshot wound, officials said.

Johnson had a criminal record and was on probation at the time of the incident. He was even on electronic monitoring, officials said.

The third boy, also 15, was arrested and cooperating, police said.

He is charged with assault and robbery. The hospitalized boy could face similar charges, according to authorities.

But there would be no charges filed against the shooter, officials said.

"Well I do not condone violence, the bike rider had no choice," Adams said.

The 65-year-old cooperated with police after the shooting. 

"He stayed right at the scene and did what was asked of him by the police department -- he cooperated fully with the police, Adams said.

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