Man Accused Of Rappelling Into Kmart Punches His Lawyer In The Face

Here’s an odd bit of retail-related crime.

Peter Hafer is currently in jail, accused of rappelling into a Kentucky Kmart after closing in order to steal jewelry. Mr. Hafer requested a new public defender be assigned to his case, when the request was denied, he “snapped” and punched his attorney in the jaw.

“I just hit him,” Hafer told WLEX, “I mean, pretty much… yeah. I just knocked him out. I kinda just went into rage and… you know what I’m saying? I really didn’t realize what I was doing until like, you know… I was on the ground when they grabbed me. ”

When asked about the rappelling incident, Hafer had this to say:

“Them are just accusations. They don’t got no physical evidence whatsoever, just some guy, got caught up accusing me of being in there, and they don’t have nothing else.”

Any attorneys looking for some pro bono work in Kentucky?

Defendant slugs lawyer [CNN]


Edit Your Comment

  1. forgottenpassword says:

    breaking into a Kmart “mission impossible”-style just to steal crappy Kmart jewelry?

  2. qitaana says:

    This fellow doesn’t seem like the brightest star in the sky.

  3. 40mpgYaris says:

    If they don’t get him on the K-Mart caper they should give him 5 years for his grammar. Minus some time off for giving it to a lawyer of course.

  4. kittenfoo says:

    i’m always relieved when something like this happens in a state other than mine (tennessee). particularly with the “they don’t got no physical evidence” type quotes.

  5. Blackcloud75 says:

    “Them are just accusations. They don’t got no physical evidence whatsoever…” Wow. If that’s not a direct quote then I don’t know what is.

  6. choinski says:

    Can I haz attoneyz-klyent privligez?

  7. Covaluxx says:

    how do you “rappell” into a K-Mart?

  8. stephenjames716 says:

    the lawyer was on the today show this morning with two black eyes. ouch!

  9. GravityFields says:

    I read a story about a professional burglary ring that clean out stores like Best Buy and Office Depot who “pick targets carefully, and plan the crimes to the last detail. The thieves drop down through rooftops, tunnel through walls, even crawl through ductwork to get the job done … they leave behind no fingerprints, no witnesses and no surveillance tapes.” I wonder if this is one of them getting sloppy — or greedy.

  10. FLConsumer says:

    Can we just lock this guy up to protect the gene pool?

  11. Celticlady says:

    Ok, would it be too obvious to say that I was ‘repelled’ by this whole story??

  12. Islandkiwi says:

    Dear Crazy Bastard: Sparkly is not the same as expensive.

  13. normanm4 says:

    Sounds like he went to the “Kwame’ Kilpatrick Charm School for Criminals”

  14. shan6 says:

    Classy guy. I would love to know what goes through the head of a man trying to steal all the jewelry frome effing Kmart!

  15. innocent until proven retarded. I vote game, set and match already

  16. Was he wearing a striped shirt with a mask? Did he attempt to open the glass with the suction cup circle glass cutter thing? Did he have a “loot” bag? Did he catch a drop of sweat with his hand so as not to set off the laser grid on the K-mart floor? THESE are the questions I want answered!

  17. ClayS says:


    Not the most ambitious guy in world obviously.

  18. SkittleKicks says:

    Was this man inspired by the Cookie Crisp dog?

  19. shufflemoomin says:

    Jesus, if you’re going to steal, steal something worth stealing. If you’re going to get caught anyway, at least don’t get caught stealing things most people wouldn’t buy.

  20. DoubleEcho says:


    No, I think he was inspired by the cabbie who punched that lady in the face because she wanted to pay with a credit card. He forgot to give his lawyer a warning first thing.

    “I give you a punch in the face!”

  21. Greasy Thumb Guzik says:

    Sterilization would be cheaper!

  22. Blueskylaw says:

    Is that an afro the lawyer is wearing or is this just a Saturday Night Live skit?

  23. Blueskylaw says:


  24. MPHinPgh says:

    @normanm4: “Kwame Kilpatrick Charm School”…LOL! Can I use that line sometime?

  25. sleepydumbdude says:

    So now is he going to get a different attorney? It sucks for him if he is still defended by a guy he punched in the face. Not as though that he wouldn’t deserve it.

  26. Whitey Fisk says:

    It’s important to point out that one doesn’t need much of a reason to punch a lawyer in the face.

  27. stpauliegirl says:

    @Covaluxx: @Celticlady: “Rappelling” with two Ls is an acceptable spelling according to Merriam-Webster. Please to learn to use a dictionary.

  28. Hoss says:

    His lawyer said on the Today show that he was’t going to press charges. I’m no lawyer (or a cop) — doesn’t make sense to me why someone needs to “press charges”. Why isn’t he being charged with a crime? If he hit a dog like that — the dog doesnt press charges

  29. @kittenfoo: Kentucky, Tennessee, it’s all the same to us Yankees.

  30. faust1200 says:

    @normanm4: Kwame gets such a bad rap. Can’t a man get a hooker killed and cover up the evidence and then fire the man investigating his criminality? And can’t this same man then drive a city into financial ruin, cheat on his wife with another city employee and lie about it to a jury anymore?

  31. nequam says:

    @Hossofcourse: What he really means is that he won’t make a fuss if charges aren’t pursued against the guy. The cooperation of the victim isn’t necessary, and often there are good reasons for doing so (e.g. domestic abuse) where victims naturally are reluctant.

  32. m4ximusprim3 says:

    @Hossofcourse: Right, but dogs deserve our sympathy.

    (sorry to any lawyers out there- if you’re reading consumerist, this doesn’t apply to you!)

  33. Plaid Rabbit says:

    @PotKettleBlack: Don’t worry, your neck of the woods is all the same to us as well. (Says someone from Kentucky.)

    The place that this guy is practicing in is a suburb of Lexington, which is (In and of itself) not a huge city. It is my hometown, though. My dad told me to check this video out on the local newspaper’s homepage about a day before it went national – since I’m in law school and thinking about doing public defense work when I get out.

    As bad as this guy looks (and is, for the most part), I was with him up to the point where he punched the guy. The lawyer probably wasn’t explaining things very well to him, probably wasn’t doing what he wanted, and he deserves to have an attorney that at least explains things to him, even if he’s not willing to do whatever (allegedly) illegal tactics the guy wants. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Scott County Public Defender’s office isn’t a crack team of underworked public defenders itching to get this guy acquitted – but the judge was right – he doesn’t get to pick and choose his public defender just be cause he doesn’t like how he’s treating him…he needs substantive proof that the guy is doing him a major disservice by being counsel for him. Whack, I know – but its true.

    I dunno. A sure fire way to not have to use the public defenders office is to not get in situations were you could get accused of a crime; usually, this can be done by not committing crimes, I’ve found. :)

  34. banmojo says:

    I’se punch you inda face ‘cuz youse ain’t no good lawyer mm’kay?

  35. othium says:

    His lawyer looked like he would rather be somewhere else right before he got smacked in the jaw. Not saying it was the right thing to do, but I sure would have been tempted to do the same thing if I had a lawyer that didn’t have any interest in trying to defend me.

    If you want to be defended in court, you have to have a lot of money to hire an attorney. Wish it were different.

  36. Synth3t1c says:

    No matter what lawyer he gets, I’m sure this won’t help his case at all. This just proves that he is mentally unstable, and could help the prosecution’s case

  37. Paul D says:

    @Plaid Rabbit: Are you at UK Law? My wife is a 3L.

  38. Paul D says:

    @stpauliegirl: I think Covaluxx was asking how it’s physically possible to do so, not questioning the spelling of the word.

    Most K-Marts I’ve seen don’t have any windows or openings other than the main entrance, the loading dock, and maybe a few emergency exits.

    I’m struggling to wrap my head around it myself. Then again, it’s Kentucky.

    The world’s a crazy place. Some people juggle geese.

  39. camille_javal says:

    @nequam: The lawyer’s a public defender – he knows how incredibly thinly-stretched the system is between money and available labor. Even if there were were a change of venue and it wasn’t actually one of his colleagues who would have to defend this guy for punching him, he knows what kind of a mess it would involve for a different public defender’s office.

    I’ve known Wal-Mart workers who made more than some attorneys in the public defenders’ office – and they get multiple new cases dropped on them every day, often with about a day’s notice before a hearing. If they actually reach the point where they cry “uncle” to the court, they might get a brief slow-down, but it doesn’t last. The lawyers don’t make the system – they just try to keep it from falling apart completely. A lot of them are jaded and exhausted, and it’s awful, and something needs to be done about it, because it does affect the quality of defense. However, until there’s enough money in the system (e.g., to hire more lawyers), it’s probably not going to get better – it’s comparable to what you see with social workers, who did care at one time, but get so burnt out.

    In short, making lawyer jokes about a public defender is just stupid.

  40. Plaid Rabbit says:

    @Paul D: Sadly, no. I’m in NH for school, but trying to make it back to the area after I graduate.

    Say congrats to your wife – UK Law is a very nice school.

  41. cde says:

    @Hossofcourse: No, because the owner of the dog presses charges, or the cops, acting as a proxy, presses charges.

  42. ToadKillerDog says:

    We need a made for TV movie about this! Watch it Pro Bono on the oxygen channel. The question is what 3rd rate actors would be in it.

  43. MisterE says:

    I don’t know which is funnier: The lawyer being punched or the defendant’s reasoning for punching him.

    Sounds to me this good ol’ boy didn’t mean nuthin. Just a misunderstandin! Hell, he probably hits his wife/sister harder than that!

  44. cmdr.sass says:

    So, this guys rappels into KMart into to rteal fistfuls of … cubic zirconia?

  45. Paul D says:

    @camille_javal: In short, making lawyer jokes about a public defender is just stupid.

    True that.

  46. She Laughs says:

    @cmdr.sass: He really like those shiny things.

  47. stpauliegirl says:

    @Paul D: Ah, gotcha. Apologies for the confusion; I’m just used to seeing all the Grammar Nazis get riled up in here.

  48. Empire says:

    He’s going for an insanity defense. Nobody smart enough to case a place, set up a rappelling rig, and breach a bunker-like concrete-and-steel building is simultaneously stupid enough to break into a Kmart, steal Kmart jewelry, and punch his lawyer in the face in front of a judge. Therefore he must be crazy.

  49. skittlbrau says:

    @faust1200: Don’t you see its just the suburbs trying to keep Detroit down?

    I left Detroit almost two years ago, yet the freep and detnews never fail to keep me entertained with the antics of america’s “hip-hop” mayor. I still can’t believe that fool got re-elected.

  50. HOP says:

    lawyers better start taking boxing lessons………….

  51. savdavid says:

    What is the difference between a dead possum in the road and a dead lawyer in the road? There are skid marks in front of the possum.

  52. Argyle says:

    Can we start making mandatory sterilization part of criminal sentencing?

  53. Spooty says:

    Followup: he got six months for the attack.

    I didn’t see any stories on the original burglary/etc. charges.