DALLAS -- Lamont Levels may be blind, but he’s a former gang leader and a tough guy.
No one’s going to rob him without a heck of a fight, as two teenage gangs members recently found out. They got the money, but he got the gun.
“[The police] couldn’t believe that a blind guy had disarmed two robbery suspects,” said Levels, who is now an anti-gang activist.
Levels was one of the eight original founders one of the first Bloods gangs in Dallas. He was left blind 15 years ago when he was shot during a drug deal gone sour.
He now runs a gang-intervention non-profit called Now Eye See, Inc. News 8 profiled Levels and his non-profit back in January 2016.
“Back in my day, when I was a gang member, we respected our senior citizens, our elderly, and our disabled,” he said. “I see why so many of our young kids are dying — because they have no respect for no one.”
The attack occurred Aug. 23 as he was walking up to his South Dallas home. He had just exchanged larger bills for one dollar bills at the neighborhood store.
“I get messed out of my money at times, so I like to have small bills,” he said.
He thinks they probably saw him and mistakenly believed he had a large amount of money.
The attack started with a blow to the head with a gun. He was knocked to the ground.
At first, he thought he’d been shot. He thought they may have come to kill him for something he had done in the past.
They attackers were silent, not saying a word.
They sat him on the ground. One robber reached into his pockets. That’s when he realized it was a robbery.
He also realized their silence meant he probably knew them.
Levels began to struggle.
“Something said, ‘Don’t let them rob me. Fight back,’ and I just began to fight back,” he said.
One robber continued searching his pockets. The other held him from behind.
“I realized that the other guy that was holding me, he must have had the gun,” he said.
Levels grabbed for the gun. The robber started biting him in the back.
“It felt like a pit bull was on me,” Levels said.
He told the first robber that he could take the money.
Levels continued to struggle with the robber that had the gun. The robber kept biting him and began screaming to his accomplice for help.
It was a voice he recognized.
“As soon as I got the gun, I just turned and fired, ‘pow,’ and he took off running,” Levels said. “They say I grazed him.”
The two robbers fled down the trail behind his house, a trail that only someone from the neighborhood would know about.
Levels also recognized the gun. It had an extended clip.
“Don’t too many people walk around here with an extended gun and there’s only one guy that had that type of gun, so I knew it was him,” he said.
Even more galling: The teenage robbers were members of the gang he helped found decades ago.
“Everybody says that I was lucky, that I was blessed, and that might be true,” Levels said, “but I look at the same time that the young guy that I didn’t shoot that he’s lucky and he’s blessed, because he was coming to rob me and he could have ended up being dead.”
One of the alleged robbers -- a juvenile -- is now in custody. Police say Levels was key in identifying the robbers.
The other suspect is on the run.
Levels wants his two attackers to see what’s right before it’s too late.
Copyright 2016 WFAA