Minn. Farmer Charged After Chasing Thief
This is a discussion on Minn. Farmer Charged After Chasing Thief within the In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly forums, part of the The Back Porch category; It would be nice to hear the whole story. At gunpoint ,over property is not right ,if that is what happened. On the other hand ...
February 3rd, 2007 11:50 AM
It would be nice to hear the whole story. At gunpoint ,over property is not right ,if that is what happened. On the other hand , how many of us would investigate a noise at night w/o a gun on em?
"In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson
Nemo Me Impune Lacesset
February 3rd, 2007 12:02 PM
Hopefully the thief will think twice before siphoning gas (if that's how he was stealing it) from someone else again.
And I hope the old fellow will come out of this OK.
His reaction to the thief and the theft reminds me of the reaction of the Ben Stiller character in the opening sequence of "Starskey and Hutch": "There are no minor crimes....".
"...bad decisions that turn out well often make heroes."
Gary D. Mitchell, A Sniper's Journey: The Truth About the Man and the Rifle, P. 103, NAL Caliber books, 2006, 1st Ed.
February 3rd, 2007 02:04 PM
Read this other story:
It seems Chicago Sun-Times left out part of the story!
This miscreant was wanted on other FELONY charges:
While the 'vigilante' may not have shown the best judgment....another WANTED FELON IS OFF THE STREETS!.
Smith was charged with another theft and was held in the county jail on a felony warrant from another state.
Another thing is the nearest LEOs are 15 miles away! So this community is on it's own!
If it had been me, I would have had a loaded gun (his shotgun WASN'T loaded).
It also looks like this man INTERRUPTED the thief, who knows what the BG here was planning........it was probably more than just stealing a LITTLE GASOLINE!
Quemadmodum gladius neminem occidit, occidentis telum est.-Seneca
"If you carry a gun, people will call you paranoid. If I have a gun, what do I have to be paranoid about?" -Clint Smith
"An unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it." -Jeff Cooper
February 3rd, 2007 02:22 PM
Merged the two running threads on this incident.
Procrastinators are the leaders of tomorrow.
February 4th, 2007 02:41 PM
My understanding that the shotgun was unloaded, in which case I wonder if the cell phone call was done in front of the BG's to intimidate them? I suspect that living in a town with no police force would naturally make people a bit more pro-active in the defense of their property and perhaps they have had past problems with people stealing stuff and getting away before the police arrive and this situation was the straw that broke the camel’s back?
February 5th, 2007 04:30 PM
I know this is my first post, but didn't the article mentioned his township did not have a police force so it was common for people to get away because there was no police presence? Maybe the fact that something like this happened before once or twice may have affected his better judgement. I am not saying he did the right thing in any way shape or form, he actually did everything wrong by chasing and pointing a gun at someone without being a LEO.
February 5th, 2007 04:54 PM
OK, here's my take on this:
I respect a 74 year old man that has the guts to defend his neighbors' property. I can understand the difference between Metro and Rural sensibilities and the decision not to be or allow his neighbors to be victimized.
BUT (you knew it was coming)
Let's remember how the situation was AT THE TIME it happened. No 20/20 hindsight. Reasonable person rules apply here...
a) he DIDN'T know a crime had been committed... the perp confessed to $5 of gas siphoning done at another time and he did that only later to the police
b) the FELONY info didn't come out until later(Why the police didn't run the perp's info is another rant)
c) he held a man AND his wife / child at gunpoint AFTER chasing them at 70 mph on rural roads
d) never, at any time in the story, has there been any threat of Gross Bodily Harm / Death from anyone but the Old Guy.
As it turns out, England (74yo man) was right, a crime had been committed and the perp was a wanted FELON. There was STILL no Felony comitted, no threat of GBH/D and it was NOT IN England's house. in MN, according to the law, he hasn't a leg to stand on. You can defend your dwelling using lethal force if a felony is being comitted, or GBH/Death is threatened. At night IIRC, GBH/D is assumed. Note: This ONLY applies ot the dwelling (house) not the property lines or out buildings. There, it's back to GBH/Death threatened to self or others.
Personally, I believe the blow away comment was bluster to keep the situation under control. I also believe they could have charged him with more than Assault 2. It just happens to be the lowest felony they can charge him with where after plea he will lose his firearm rights.
Let me paint a hypothetical...
1) they let him go
2) next month, my family and I are in the area and follow poor directions to look up Cousin Timmy we haven't seen in years... No one is home the first time we stop, but the next day, when we stop back, Bucky the macho 21 yo neighbor remembers Mr. England the Hero and pulls a repeat...
3) Bucky chases me and my family at 70Mph on rural roads
4) 911 is miles away and my car gets stopped
5) Bucky has a shotgun and is coming at my FAMILY
the S is about to HTF in a big way. Bucky is NOT going to threaten my family. This is about to get real ugly for all involved and we're all going to wish it didn't happen later. But I would consider GBH/Death to be in play and would respond accordingly if forced to. And the clock is ticking.
Flipping it a bit, imagine it was all a mistake and England braced you and yours with a shotgun (you don't know it was unloaded) ... there is GOING to be a problem.
THAT is why he is being charged. The law is very specific. The prosecutor has latitude as do the police but the chances for this to have gone VERY wrong and / or result in a copycat event are incredibly scary.
Like I said, I can respect and understand what he did. I hope he gets out of this as unscathed as possible. but I DO NOT want a repeat. The law makes sense in this case.
Last edited by plblark; February 5th, 2007 at 04:57 PM.
Reason: clarify dense of dwelling in MN
For MN specific carry information and a great shooting community, check out forum.twincitiescarry.com
February 6th, 2007 02:08 AM
Chase No One...
Who can run faster than 1,200 feet/second...
The last Blood Moon Tetrad for this millennium starts in April 2014 and ends in September 2015...according to NASA.
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NRA Life Member
February 20th, 2007 06:29 PM
IANAL, but I understand that a felony must be in the process of being committed in your presence in order to perform a citizens' arrest. At that point, you may use any force reasonable and necessary in detaining the suspect, up to and including deadly force.
Originally Posted by lowflyer
In this case, going after the guy was a foolish thing to do, in my opinion. On the other hand, he did eventually capture a wanted felon so I'd hope that those extenuating circumstances will be used on his behalf.
"Don't mistake my kindness for weakness."
-Me (I think)
"A divided government means a happy constituancy!"
"Action springs not from thought, but from a readiness for responsibility."
February 20th, 2007 10:29 PM
Since we're on combatcarry.com and discussing the use of firearms ... the criteria taught by the Lethal Force Institute for stopping a fleeing felon using deadly force includes the following six criteria:
Originally Posted by The Sage of Seattle
- Heinous Felony: The crime must be heinous, violent and against a person.
- Known To Me As The Perpetrator: The criminal must be personally known to me as the perpetrator of the crime.
- Be Identifiable As The Good Guy: I, as the defender, must take the justifiable actions of a “good guy” and be legally seen as such.
- Escape Is Open-Ended: Absent my intervention, there is a reasonable probability that the escape of the criminal will result in similar crimes.
- All other means have failed or are impossible.
- Clear & Present Danger To Others: The criminal’s continued freedom presents a clear & present danger to innocents.
That's a pretty stiff standard. The goal being to present criteria that will withstand scrutiny anywhere in the USA, irrespective of whether a given state grants the ability earlier or not. The standard for a garden-variety citizen's arrest (not requiring lethal force) is a bit lower, as I understand it. Perhaps some of our LEO's can fill in the blanks, in this regard.
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