Attempted break-in; what would you have done differently?

This is a discussion on Attempted break-in; what would you have done differently? within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; A few months ago my wife and I were woken up by our dog growling and barking at the back door at 3:30 in the ...

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Thread: Attempted break-in; what would you have done differently?

  1. #1
    New Member Array mjfrio's Avatar
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    Attempted break-in; what would you have done differently?

    A few months ago my wife and I were woken up by our dog growling and barking at the back door at 3:30 in the morning. Expecting a cat or a possum, I stumbled out of bed to see what it was and could clearly see a person through the french doors, quietly testing the door handle. Our house is completely dark inside, and there is landscape lighting outside, so this person was completely visible to me. We have a pool, so it is not possible to just wander into our yard by mistake - you have to open a gate. I told my wife it was a person, and to call 911. I grabbed two guns, the .45 I always want with me in an emergency, and my wife's .38 with a laser sight. While my wife spoke to the dispatcher, clearly stating that we were armed and would shoot anyone that entered our house, I positioned myself behind a solid piece of furniture and put the laser sight on the trespassers chest, hoping he would get the message and leave. No reaction at all, although he could not have missed the red dot dancing through the window and on his shirt. He started more aggressively trying to force the door, so I switched guns (not a fan of the .38) and mentally went through my options, and decided that if he forced the door open I would shoot. I was quietly giving updates to my wife, who was relaying them to the 911 operator. We were told that the police were on the way. Literally two minutes after the call, I saw the guy bolt away from the door, as two officers appeared in my backyard. They tackled him, cuffed him, and took him out to the car, where 4 other officers were waiting. There were also two more officers in the alley. I heard the conversation, and the trespasser kept telling the police that he lived here, and he was clearly pretty intoxicated. He started to get belligerent with the police, and they told him that tonight the police were his best friends, because if they were one minute later they would have been carrying him out in a body bag, as the real homeowners had a gun on him the whole time. That quieted him down some, and they took him away. I was incredibly impressed by the response of the police. The only downside was that when I called the next day to find out what happened, they told me that they put him in the drunk tank and let him go the next day. Apparently there is no such thing as attempted breaking and entering, and they did not find a weapon on him. I still have no idea if it was just a drunk trying to get in the wrong house, or somebody with bad intentions. I still suspect the latter, but will probably never know.
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    I say you handled that very well. You didn't confront, you stayed safe inside, you called the cops and you had a plan. Sounds like the gendarmes had a reasonable response time, and the drunk lived to ponder his foolish ways. I'd call this a big win all around.
    Smitty
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    Member Array hi_altitude's Avatar
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    Sounds like almost the best outcome, better if he got some jail time. You could still tell the police you would like to file tampering charges, and possibly trespassing too. Wouldn't be much of a charge though. Sounds like you and your wife did the best thing and were ready. I would have done the same and shot as he made entry, while yelling commands too. Also having the 38 makes for a good backup if you unload on one guy and there turns out to be more, though they would then be stupid to continue into the house.

    Stay safe

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    New Member Array rrman12280's Avatar
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    Well done IMHO.

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    Member Array Azchief's Avatar
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    great response and good outcome. Stay safe!

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    VIP Member Array sgb's Avatar
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    Well done and welcome to the Forum.
    "There is a secret pride in every human heart that revolts at tyranny. You may order and drive an individual, but you cannot make him respect you." William Hazlitt (1778 - 1830)

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    VIP Member Array HKinNY's Avatar
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    The Drunk get to drink another day and you save a ton of money,paperwork and lawyer fees.

    I am sure if you shot the guy the wife would eant to redo the kitchen floor and then paint the walls and ceiling and then want a new couch to go with the updated room and then add in the new area rug and new drapes. This stuff adds up quickly. So since you saved all this money I would suggest going to buy yourself a new shot gun.
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    I'd say that you were a winner here.
    The money saved on interior clean-up and door/window repairs would add up.
    Sure sounds like the cops had your place completely covered, and quickly.

    If it was just a drunk, you saved his life.
    Was he walking or driving?
    Does he live in the same neighborhood?
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    VIP Member Array HKinNY's Avatar
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    Slightly off topic until the end.

    Not one of my proudest minutes of my life but many years ago. A drunk guy walking on the sidewalk stumbles into the street and back to sidewalk and falls down in front of my yard. I go over to see if I can help the guy out. He starts getting loud and louder and get nastier. So my bother calls 911 to report a drunk guy walking into traffic. I step back to give the guy some space. Next thing he starts to stand up and looks at my father and takes a swing at my dad. (People watching you father get into a fight with a drunk is funny to me) My father is now top of the guy slugging him in the face. My dad has 150 pounds on the guy and 4 inches in height. I step in to break it up I pull my dad off the drunk and then when you think it is over the drunk stands back up and tries to throw a punch at me. Now if you ever seen a really drunk person they do not have cat like reflexes. I step back of the slowest punch I have ever seen and hit him in the jaw with a cross. He does the cartoon spin and falls down and sleeping like a baby. Now he is really busted up. With this the cops pull up and asks what happened. So we explained they guy is drunk and he fell down. They call for a bus and they take him to the hospital. Next day the guy comes in an apologies. It turns out that he works next door at the plumbing supply and he is sober as a church mouse on Sunday. He swore off drinking and thanked us beating him straight, We told him if he ever feels like drinking again come on over for a beating. We saw him everyday at work but I never saw him drunk ever again.

    So maybe this will be your drunk guys wake up call after he realizes he could have been killed.
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    Member Array JoeFriday's Avatar
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    Any time you can turn back a threat with no shots fired, you are a winner. Good job!

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    Distinguished Member Array kelcarry's Avatar
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    Glad to see the repliers are agreeing with your course of action. Too many repliers, at times, have that Dirty Harry response it.
    If you have kids or others in other parts of your house it is a very different story--defending them and getting them safe is understandable. Defending "stuff" that, if you have done your due diligence, is insured and replaceable, is, IMHO, reckless and unforgiveable, especially if you die in the process if they are better at this gunstuff than you--you may be insured but you are not replaceable--I never saw any "stuff" that is worth my life. Personally, I lock bedroom and will not leave bedroom. I position myself and wife in predetermined tactical and safe positions and wait for police or for whoever to leave. If they want to see what is behind Door # 1, they will find out that they have lost their big enchilada .

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    Senior Member Array bandrich's Avatar
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    I agree with the others good cool thinking and reasonable response. I would hope I would handle a similar situation as well as you did. Well done.
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    I'm curious as to where his own home was? Was he in the right neighborhood, or miles away from his own home? Does he live on your block?

    All in all, I think you did an excellent job. I know some people who would have shot him through the french doors. I'm not anxious to be the first on my block to shoot someone, so like you, I would hold my shots until he actually forced entry into my home.

    However, when you are on the other side of the door, physically watching someone try to gain entry at 3 am, it takes a lot of restraint not to shoot. And it probably seemed like an eternity for the police to arrive.

    I noticed that as soon as the police arrived in the back yard, he tried to run away. Maybe he wasn't that convinced it was his own house he was trying to get into.

    All in all, you did a good job showing restraint not shooting him. You also remained calm and out of sight, yet ready to respond. Good job!

    Whether you were justified in shooting through the back door or not, it is always best to avoid shooting someone if you can. No one wants to kill someone just for being stupid, and shooting a drunk who thought he was trying to get into his house is one of those things which would likely weigh heavy on a homeowners mind, even if justified.

    Not to mention the hassle and trauma of going through a shooting incident.

    It kind of sucks they kicked him loose after he sobered up. I too would have wished for some jail time and charges filed for scaring the crap out of me like that. But in the long run, he's still alive, and you didn't have to face the emotional turmoil of having to shoot someone.
    -Bark'n
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    Member Array W9HDG's Avatar
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    Great job! I would like to think I would do exactly the same thing. Locking the bedroom door as suggested above unfortunately isn't an option for me as I have two kids sleeping in the bedrooms down the hall. Being that the interior of my house always has at least one light on (my wife's idea) I would probably be tempted to just hide around the corner at the head of the hallway from the door they are coming in putting myself and my gun between the BG and my family, and do roughly the same thing.

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    Well-played from start to finish. Thank you from ex-drunks everywhere.
    "When you have to shoot, shoot, don't talk."
    Tuco

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