Lucky? Maybe. But there are two robbers out there who may never try to rob a Craigslist buyer again.
A man turned the tables on alleged robbers during a Craigslist deal Thursday night after being held at gunpoint in the parking lot of a Baton Rouge bowling alley.
Mikhail Kotlov said he was simply trying to buy an I-pad from a man Thursday night in the parking lot of All Star Lanes bowling alley on Airline Highway when mid-transaction, the arrangement quickly went south.
“As soon as I looked into my mirror on the left side I see someone just racing toward my door and as soon as my door opens I have two guns pointed to my head,” he said.
The men allegedly demanded money and other items but what they didn’t know is Kotlov was armed. He remembers having only seconds to make a potentially life-changing decision and after weighing his options, he jumped out of his Hummer and pulled out a gun. He said that’s when the suspects took off.
Kotlov said he fired several shots at the attackers and at one point even chased them toward the business. He recalls his body reacting out of instinct but his mind was paralyzed with fear.
“It’s a different fear,” Kotlov said. “Your heart freezes and like you feel like you know you go into panic mode, like an adrenaline mode.”
Kotlov said he ran inside the bowling alley to call for help but by the time police arrived the suspects were gone.
He said the men fired multiple shots in his direction right as he was about to open the door.
“These are some dangerous individuals,” said Corporal L’Jean McKneely with BRPD.
Baton Rouge Police are asking for the public’s help to identify the suspects but say the wild incident is a reminder to use one of the city’s safe zones like BRPD Headquarters for these types of meetings.
“If you want to participate in those type of transactions, go to those safe places. We would hope being at those safe places would deter things like this from happening,” McKneely added.
After surviving the incident, Kotlov said his days of Craigslist shopping are over.
Scottie: Do you think you would ever meet anybody off Craigslist again?
“No, no and especially if I get any suspicion,” Kotlov said. “It’s almost like I feel like it was a good reminder for me.”
Police are still investigating and have yet to release details on the suspects.
Residents are urged to contact BRPD or Crime Stoppers with any information about the incident. The number is (225) 344-7867.