Unusual Home Invasion Incident in Wisconsin

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    New Member Array Jeff22's Avatar
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    Unusual Home Invasion Incident in Wisconsin

    The Janesville (Wisconsin) Gazette
    Saturday November 5th, 2005

    www.gazetteextra.com

    DA: DOCTOR WON'T BE CHARGED IN HOME-INVASION SHOOTING

    By Sid Schwartz
    Gazette Staff

    District Attorney David O'Leary said Friday that he would not file charges against Michael Rainiero, who shot an intruder who fell into his Janesville home through the living room ceiling on Monday night.

    "His actions were reasonable and justified" O'Leary wrote in a press release. "Not only was Dr. Rainiero entitled to self-defense, he was also entitled to protect his family.

    Dr. Rainiero had no reasonable opportunity to retreat as the intruder was not complying with Dr. Rainiero's repeated demands to leave the residence, and was still inside the residence with Dr. Rainiero's family."

    Kurt E. Prochaska, 38, of 3920 Afton Road, Janesville, was shot once in the back near his spine. He was treated at Mercy Hospital in Janesville and later transferred to University Hospital in Madison. The hospital declined on Friday to release any information about his condition.

    Rainiero, 45, of 2530 Linden Ave, Janesville, told police that he, his wife, and three children were asleep when Rainiero was awakened at 11:24pm Monday by a loud sound and by his dog barking.

    Rainiero got out of bed and confronted Prochaska in the hallway between the living room and the bedrooms. He told Prochaska to get out and turned on the hallway light. Instead of leaving, Prochaska ducked into a bathroom, police said.

    Rainiero told police that he went back to his bedroom and told his wife to call police. Rainiero retrieved a .380 caliber semiautomatic pistol from the closet, went to the master bedroom, removed the gun lock, loaded the weapon, and then returned to the hallway.

    Rainiero told investigators that Prochaska emerged from the bathroom into the hallway, and he again yelled at the intruder to leave.

    "The intruder did not comply, and instead turned to enter another area of the residence", O'Leary wrote in his press release. "At that time Dr. Rainiero fired his gun one time and struck the intruder. Dr. Rainiero demanded to know if anyone else was in the residence with the intruder and ordered the intruder to lie face-down until the police arrived."

    The gunshot can be heard on the recording of the 911 call made by Rainiero's wife, said Lt. Danny Davis, head of Janesville detectives.

    O'Leary said that he would never be able to convince a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that Rainiero was unreasonable in believing that he and his family were in danger. He noted that "99.95 percent of burglars" break into a home only to steal and will flee when confronted by a homeowner.

    "In this case, despite repeated contact with the homeowner, this guy is still staying there," O'Leary said. "Now, Dr. Rainiero has to figure out why the guy is here. He's not just here to steal and get out.

    "Is it reasonable to believe that his family in danger? I would say "Yes, absolutely".

    Wisconsin law did not require Rainiero to retreat, O'Leary said.

    "He has no duty to do that," O'Leary said. "He has the right of self-defense to take reasonable action to protect himself and his family. He doesn't have to go hide in his closet."

    As of noon on Friday, detectives hadn't interviewed Prochaska, who at one point was too heavily sedated. O'Leary says that it doesn't matter what Prochaska tells the police.

    "I have an explanation of what happened from the doctor and corroborating statements from his wife and children," O'Leary said.

    Further corroboration is provided by the 911 tape, which recorded some of the conversation between Rainiero and the intruder, he said.

    "He's trying to order him out of the home, and then you hear a shot" O'Leary said. "It's all consistent with what Dr. Rainiero's version of the events are."

    Also supporting Rainiero's statements, O'Leary said, are other people living in the neighborhood who reported a suspicious person a short time before the shooting.

    Lt. Davis said that police were dispatched at 11pm Monday to a home about two blocks from the Rainiero's in the 2300 block of Dartmouth Drive for a report of a stranger ringing the doorbell. When the people answered their door, a man fitting Prochaska's description asked for a man who doesn't live there, Davis said.

    At about 11:15pm Monday, only a few minutes before the shooting, a man fitting Prochaska's description rang the doorbell of a home in the 700 block of North Marion Avenue, which is just around the corner from the Rainiero home. The person who answered the door said the man appeared to be intoxicated, and he asked for a man who doesn't live at the home, Lt. Davis said.

    Investigators believe that a few minutes later Prochaska climbed onto the roof of the Rainiero home, pried open an exhaust vent, crawled into the attic, and crashed through the drywall ceiling, landing on the living room floor 8 feet below.

    O'Leary said that no charges have yet been filed against Prochaska.

    Although O'Leary has cleared Rainiero of criminal wrongdoing, that does not affect Rainiero's civil liability.

    "There's always exposure civilly", O'Leary said. "Anybody can sue anybody. The question is, 'Would he win?'"

    O'Leary doesn't think so.

    "It would be a difficult task to try and prove that Dr. Rainiero is more at fault than the individual breaking into the home for the resulting consequences." O'Leary said.
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    Ex Member Array HollowpointHank's Avatar
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    Rainiero told police that he went back to his bedroom and told his wife to call police. Rainiero retrieved a .380 caliber semiautomatic pistol from the closet, went to the master bedroom, removed the gun lock, loaded the weapon, and then returned to the hallway.


    He should be glad this wasn't a real home invasion. He would never have had enough time to do that!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by HollowpointHank
    Rainiero told police that he went back to his bedroom and told his wife to call police. Rainiero retrieved a .380 caliber semiautomatic pistol from the closet, went to the master bedroom, removed the gun lock, loaded the weapon, and then returned to the hallway.


    He should be glad this wasn't a real home invasion. He would never have had enough time to do that!!!!
    That's very true; I hope everyone who has a gun for protection realizes how very "lucky" this guy was.

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    +1 !
    I think the Doc was very lucky. Maybe the BG was still stunned from the fall and that gave the doctor enough time to retrtieve his weapon. Can anybody from Wisconsin tell me if it is the law to keep the gun locked and unloaded like that?
    You have to make the shot when fire is smoking, people are screaming, dogs are barking, kids are crying and sirens are coming.
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    I also agree, he is really lucky that he had time to unlock and load his firearm. I hope that he buys himself a pistol safe so that his firearm can be accessed much easier and is still not accessable by his children.

    My father had a similar experience when we were little, except it was the neighbors cat falling through the screen on the skylight and then running scared around the house knocking stuff over.

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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff22
    The Janesville (Wisconsin) Gazette
    Saturday November 5th, 2005

    www.gazetteextra.com

    DA: DOCTOR WON'T BE CHARGED IN HOME-INVASION SHOOTING

    By Sid Schwartz
    Gazette Staff

    District Attorney David O'Leary said Friday that he would not file charges against Michael Rainiero, who shot an intruder who fell into his Janesville home through the living room ceiling on Monday night. O'Leary says that it doesn't matter what Prochaska tells the police.

    "I have an explanation of what happened from the doctor and corroborating statements from his wife and children," O'Leary said.

    Further corroboration is provided by the 911 tape, which recorded some of the conversation between Rainiero and the intruder, he said.

    "He's trying to order him out of the home, and then you hear a shot" O'Leary said. "It's all consistent with what Dr. Rainiero's version of the events are."
    ==
    He's VERY lucky he's not in a jurisdiction like mine. Something like this happens, the liberal DA will assume the gunowner is wrong and prosecute. It's one major reason for the recent revision of our Castle Doctrine.

    He's also very lucky to have had the time to get his weapon and put it into action from a state of zero. I hope he gets the idea that maybe he needs a bigger caliber or maybe a shotgun for HD.
    Former Army Infantry Captain; 25 yrs as an NRA Certified Instructor; Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO.

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    Senior Member Array Free American's Avatar
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    Having to unlock and load the gun will probably save him in civil court though.
    They who give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. Benjamin Franklin


    Previously known as "cjm5874"

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    Rainiero retrieved a .380 caliber semiautomatic pistol from the closet, went to the master bedroom, removed the gun lock, loaded the weapon, and then returned to the hallway.
    We all spotted this one eh! Indeed had the BG been armed the houseowner would have been toast.

    Maybe Chris you are right re that fact helping in court in a civil suit but heck - he might not even have been around to be sued!
    Chris - P95
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    Agreed that the home owner was lucky to have that kind of time to respond. What bothers me is the possibiliity that he would have ANY trouble in a civil court... Someone that breaks into a house through the ceiling or otherwise, and gets shot should not have much of a case to sue. Should they??

    Crazy things happen in courtooms, but jeepers! It seems that when BG lives through something like this, they still have a decent chance to rob you...

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    VIP Member Array Rob72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff22
    The Janesville (Wisconsin) Gazette
    Saturday November 5th, 2005

    www.gazetteextra.com

    DA: DOCTOR WON'T BE CHARGED IN HOME-INVASION SHOOTING

    By Sid Schwartz
    Gazette Staff

    Kurt E. Prochaska, 38, of 3920 Afton Road, Janesville, was shot once in the back near his spine. He was treated at Mercy Hospital in Janesville and later transferred to University Hospital in Madison. The hospital declined on Friday to release any information about his condition.

    Rainiero told police that he went back to his bedroom and told his wife to call police. Rainiero retrieved a .380 caliber semiautomatic pistol from the closet, went to the master bedroom, removed the gun lock, loaded the weapon, and then returned to the hallway.

    ================================================== =
    An Eastwing Axe would have been faster.........more lethal too...:pimp2:

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    Double Jeopardy?

    It would seem that if one is cleared of any criminal liability, as in this case, that civil liability would be null and void. Otherwise, it would seem that we still have the possiblility of "double jeopardy" in our court system. Does anyone know if that is an issue with the NRA/GOA or other groups? Just food for thought...
    noli nothis permittere te terere...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kompact9
    It would seem that if one is cleared of any criminal liability, as in this case, that civil liability would be null and void. Otherwise, it would seem that we still have the possiblility of "double jeopardy" in our court system. Does anyone know if that is an issue with the NRA/GOA or other groups? Just food for thought...
    That was the other part of what I noticed (after the return to the bedroom), this guy could still end up losing everything, and it's not considered double jeopardy. For high profile, just look at the OJ trials.
    Rick

    EOD - Initial success or total failure

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    Member Array Lawrence Keeney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rstickle
    That was the other part of what I noticed (after the return to the bedroom), this guy could still end up losing everything, and it's not considered double jeopardy. For high profile, just look at the OJ trials.
    I'll bet you it's his wife that made him keep the pistol locked up like that.

    If he was going to keep it locked in the closet with a gun lock on it, he might as well not have had it. A determined home invader would have taken that locked gun away from him and beat him to death with it.

    I hope the good doctor learns from this, gets better locks for his doors, possibly a security system, a yippy dog, and maybe one of those thumb touch bedside gun safes.

    I like the Axe idea, but I keep a Ranger Knives Renigade Tomahawk by my bed. Sharp as a razor, and has a spike on the other side.

    That, and my Glock 17, should repel all boarders.
    "I Don't Want To Socialize With A Pinko Liberal Democrat Commie. Say What You Like About Republicans. We Stick To Our Convictions. Even When We Know We're Dead Wrong." Denny Crane:

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