SPARTANBURG, S.C. --
James Easler used his handgun to hold a burglary suspect until deputies arrived
A man who deputies say burglarized a home got more than he bargained for when the gun-toting, tough-talking homeowner caught and held him until deputies showed up.
Ken Easler, 73, said he went into his home on Jones Road before heading to the farmer’s market on Saturday morning when he heard someone inside the house.
"I was taking produce to the market," he said. "I was going in the house to get something to drink."
Easler said when he went into the house, he heard someone upstairs. He grabbed his gun and waited for the person to come downstairs.
"I put the clip in and jacked one in the chamber, and when I did, he had already started down the steps. He sat down. He sat down and held onto the rail.
"(He) started saying stuff like, 'I had to use the bathroom so bad. I had to use your bathroom. I was walking down the road and I had this big urge to use that bathroom.'"
But Easler wasn’t having it.
"I told him, you know, ‘You'd better shut up and don't make any sudden moves.’"
Easler ushered him through the house at gunpoint.
"I put him in the bathroom and I told him, I said, ‘If you close the door,’ I said, ‘I'm going to fill it full of bullet holes, so don't close the door.’
"He was saying stuff like, 'I've never done anything like this before. If you let me go, I'll never do it again.’ He said, ‘I don't have anything. I didn't take anything.'
Easler called 911.
"I said, ‘We'll, I've got an intruder in my house and I've got him at gunpoint.’"
He said the man then tried to get sympathy from him.
"He started like hyper-ventilating. He said, 'I've got to have water -- my heart -- I've got to have water.'
"At one point, he started faking a cry like a baby would cry. I said, ‘Shut up, that don't work either.' I said, 'You became a man when you came in my house.' and I said, ‘I don't want to hear no crying.'”
Deputies said when they arrived, they found Easler pointing his gun at a man, later identified as Douglas Nickerson, who was lying on the bathroom floor.
Deputies said when they searched Nickerson, they found two rolls of dollar bills in his pocket. They put Nickerson in the back seat of the patrol car. They then asked Easler if he kept any cash in the house. Easler said he kept dollar bills in bundles of $50. The money was earned from sales at the farmer’s market.
The money in Nickerson pocket was two bundles totaling $100. Nickerson was charged with residential burglary, unlawful entry and theft.
Easler said he had never seen Nickerson before, and he has lived in the house since 1967.
The 73-year-old said he wasn’t worried during his encounter with Nickerson.
"I knew I had it under control because when I told him put his hands up, I told him, ‘Don't you take them down.’ I said, ‘If you do, I'm going to shoot you.’"
Best line from this is... 'You became a man when you came in my house.' and I said, ‘I don't want to hear no crying.'”