Around 4:00 on the morning of March 25th, 19-year-old Anthony Robinson, who already has a string of 13 arrests since 2009, broke into Tank's home. Tanks 75-year-old wife woke Tank up because she heard a noise in the bathroom. The couple called 911, but the noise continued.
Police can't be everywhere at once and didn't respond in time. Tank grabbed his .38 revolver and went to check on the noise. Tank found the plywood over a bathroom window kicked in and Robinson trying to break in. Tank fired, striking Robinson in the ankle.
When police arrived, they arrested Robinson for felony burglary and then arrested Tank for unlawful use of a gun.
It seems the 80-year-old had prior weapons convictions - one from 45 years earlier (1968) and one from almost 20 years earlier (1994). Those convictions meant Tank was not supposed to have a firearm and be able to defend himself, his wife, or his business.
Community response has been quick and very one sided in Tank's favor. Head of the block club in the neighborhood (similar to neighborhood watch), Anita Dominique, said she has known Tank for more than 30 years, "He is a pillar of our community. What does it say to me and other senior citizens that we will be arrested if we defend ourselves?"
"It’s a sad day in America when an ... senior citizen with a heart condition can’t defend himself against an intruder breaking into his house," said Daryl Smith, 43, a self-employed tow truck owner, "If he hadn't defended himself, we would be here for a different reason -- because an intruder came in and killed him".
Tanks nephew, Courtney Cook, spoke of how his uncle had been targeted repeatedly, "It’s the same thing over and over again. He’s tired of it. A man’s ... supposed to protect his home.
"You have to look at what's right and what's wrong in that situation," he said. "He's supposed to protect his home and his family. I mean, you know, is he supposed to be the victim? I mean, you know, just let it keep happening? If it's going to keep happening, then where's the law? What good is the law?
William Delay, 18th Ward committeeman, noted that, "Mr. Wright was protecting his own home, was in fact inside his own home, and he did not kill this intruder. He only maimed this guy yet he has been arrested and is sitting in jail. Where is the justice in that?"
The following morning, Judge Donald D. Panarese Jr. ordered Tank released on his own recognizance.
As of April , police officially dropped all charges. Tank commented on the fact that police did not return his handgun to him, leaving him unable to defend himself from another attack, "They have sent me out here to the wolves. The next time they break in here, I'll have my baseball bat and see what I can do with that. I'm going to do what I have to to protect my wife."