Man gets probation for drunken 2010 attempt to rob victim who tackled him, disarmed him, held him for police

Nicholas Gage was a 17-year-old so drunk that his firing three shots from a .38-caliber handgun and ordering an intended robbery victim to “Give it up” wasn’t enough to stop his target from tackling him, disarming him, and holding him until police arrived, authorities said. It happened Oct. 29, 2010, in a breezeway at Columbus’ Avalon Apartments, 3737 Cusseta Road.

Now 21, Gage pleaded guilty Wednesday to aggravated assault and using a firearm to commit a crime. Muscogee Superior Court Judge William Rumer sentenced him to a concurrent five years’ probation on each count.

The judge imposed that sentence on the recommendation of prosecutor Wesley Lambertus. Gage’s family testified Gage had no prior offenses and had committed no violations since. The victim, who said he and Gage now attend the same church, asked that Gage be given a second chance. The victim was 25 when the teenaged Gage tried to rob him that Friday night.

Gage’s mother told Rumer her son has a job and a child of his own to support now, and his bungled robbery attempt three years ago was the result of getting “mixed up with the wrong crowd.”

The account of a victim and suspect sharing the same church prompted Rumer to remark on his own Methodist beliefs: “I do believe in redemption. I do believe in repentance,” the judge said as he imposed the sentence.