Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Kochanski's Concertina Beer Hall Owner Was Justified For Killing Armed Robber

Andrew "Andy" J. Kochanski and Carmelo L. Matos-Arzola

Photos: Facebook

Deceased alleged robber was unarmed, while two other accomplices had attempted to rob a South side polish bar with BB guns.

By H. Nelson Goodson
August 20, 2013

Milwaukee, WI - On Monday, police identified Carmelo L. Matos-Arzola, 23, originally from Bronx, New York as one of the robbers killed by Andrew "Andy" J. Kochanski, 43, owner of the Kochanski's Concertina Beer Hall while protecting his patrons. A second suspect was reported wounded in his left leg and buttocks during an attempted armed robbery with BB guns around 12:07 a.m. on early Friday, August 16, the criminal complaint states.
At about 6:30 a.m., police from Highland Park notified Milwaukee police that a suspect identified as José M. Muñoz, 21, had been admitted to the Highland Park Hospital for two bullet wounds. Highland Park Police arrested Muñoz, but was then transferred to the Evenston Hospital for surgery where he is recovering from his wounds in Illinois after Kochanski shot him. A Milwaukee detective traveled to Evenston and recovered a .45 Cal. bullet that was removed from Muñoz.
The criminal complaint states, Muñoz after being shot by Kochanski was taken to Darlene Lomeli's residence by a friend that knew Lomeli. Lomeli was asked to drive Muñoz to a hospital. Lomeli then drove him, his father and another female to the Highland Park Hospital in Illinois after Muñoz's father suggested it would be better, so Muñoz wouldn't be connected to the crime in Milwaukee. Lomeli told investigators that while driving to Illinois, she heard Muñoz discussing the robbery with his father and the other woman. That Muñoz felt bad that they had to leave Matos-Arzola at the bar wounded and hoped he was still alive.
A third suspect is being sought also in the case.
The criminal complaint says, a semi-automatic BB gun was found inside Kochanski's bar by the door and the second BB gun was found outside on the sidewalk. Five spent shells were recovered as evidence and two bullets, one from an ATM machine and another from the door jam.
The suspects apparently weren't expecting for Kochanski to pull out his .45 Glock semi-automatic handgun after one of the suspects pointed a gun at the owner, which later was determined it was just a BB gun. Two suspects were wearing masks and Matos-Arzola had a hoodie. When they walked into the bar, they told "everybody don't move, this is a robbery." As Kochanski reached for his weapon under the bar, one of the suspects said "don't do it" while pointing the BB gun at Kochanski.
The Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office confirmed that Kochanski was justified when he killed Matos-Arzola and wounded  Muñoz. Kochanski won't face charges, according to the D.A.'s office.
Muñoz was charged with one felony count of armed robbery with use of force and party to a crime as an enhancer on Sunday. If convicted, Muñoz is facing up to 20 years in prison and $50,000 in fines. An arrest warrant was issued last Friday. Muñoz is expected to be extradited from Illinois to face charges in Wisconsin.
On early Friday, Matos-Arzola along with Muñoz and another suspect, armed with black semi-automatic style BB guns walked into Kochanski's Concertina Beer Hall at 1920 S. 37th Street and attempted to rob the Polish bar just after midnight. The owner, Kochanski pulled out a real gun and fatally shot Matos-Arzola once in the chest who was trying to rob the bar. Muñoz was wounded twice, but he and another suspect then fled the scene, according to police.
Kochanski claims he was protecting two patrons and himself at the bar. He thought that the suspects had real weapons and not BB guns.
The criminal complaints says, Kochanski chased after the two suspects who ran outside and then returned to the bar to call 911 and attempted CPR on Matos-Arzola, but was unsuccessful.
On Friday, he posted on his bar's Facebook (FB) page, that he had to do what he did and would do it again to protect his customers.
"I would like to state that I did what I had to do to protect my customers and myself. I have no regrets and would do it again if need be. PLEASE do not let this keep you from having a great time here. PLEASE do not let this tarnish this neighborhood. This could and has happened anywhere. You should ALWAYS feel safe here. Andy Kochanski"
His FB page generated support from followers and friends. Kochanski reopened his bar late Friday afternoon.
On December 2008, another attempted robbery at the bar resulted with one patron shot in the buttocks. He survived. Several masked men walked into the bar with a shotgun and a gun during a Christmas party and fired at Kochanski at the bar. Kochanski pulled out his loaded Glock .45 and began to shoot at the suspects. The suspects fired back, but fled the scene, according to the police report.

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