Doctor allegedly pulls gun on LG&E worker turning off his power


by Adam Walser

Posted on December 5, 2012 at 7:00 PM

Updated Thursday, Nov 7 at 4:37 AM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- A Louisville doctor was charged with threatening a Louisville Gas and Electric worker at gunpoint when he came to shut off power to the doctor's home.

The doctor, Lawrence Rouben, was finally able to post a $5,000 cash bond Wednesday night, a bond his lawyer told the judge earlier that he couldn't make, even though he lives in a $700,000 Glenview house.

Dressed in a t-shirt and blue jeans, Dr. Lawrence Rouben appeared in court after spending a night in jail.

Rouben was charged with wanton endangerment after allegedly holding a gun on an LG&E employee.

“This is an aberration in his life,” his attorney Jonathan Breitenstein said at his bond hearing.

Rouben, a licensed critical care and pulmonary doctor, lives in a 5,200 square foot Glenview home.

The utility worker was allegedly threatened at gunpoint when he tried to turn off the power at the home, due to overdue bills. 

The man said Rouben pointed a gun at him until he walked completely off his property. He called police, who arrested Rouben.

“It's a very serious charge, because, basically, wanton endangerment is where you have no value of the person's life,” Louisville Metro Police spokesperson Dwight Mitchell said. “You're totally oblivious to that individual, their rights and their life at that point when you point a gun at them, whether it goes off or not.”

LG&E wouldn't comment on the specific incident, but a spokesperson says all employees are empowered to leave a situation if they feel threatened or are threatened. And they say, luckily, these types of incidents are few and far between.

Rouben is the son of the late Joseph Rouben, the Rouben's Pharmacy owner who was federally indicted in 2009 and pleaded guilty to a drug fraud scheme.

Lawrence Rouben has serious financial problems. His home is currently in foreclosure.

He was also one of 22 physicians who collectively owed $20 million after personally guaranteeing his investment in the now bankrupt Kentuckiana Medical Center in Clark County, Ind.  

Rouben said in court that he is currently unemployed.

“I'm waiting for my Ohio medical license, and then I have a job in Portsmouth,” Rouben said.

“Yikes. This is gonna be ugly,” remarked the judge.

WHAS11 talked to Rouben's attorney late Wednesday afternoon. He told us a witness tells a very different account of what happened and says his client has pleaded not guilty to the felony charge.

Rouben is due back in court on December 14.