GOOD: Woman Scolds, Husband Shoots - Kennebunkport, ME

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Thread: GOOD: Woman Scolds, Husband Shoots - Kennebunkport, ME

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array CT-Mike's Avatar
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    GOOD: Woman Scolds, Husband Shoots - Kennebunkport, ME

    Kennebunk homeowners thwart would-be burglars by scolding, firing a shotgun

    KENNEBUNK Quick thinking on the part of a Heath Road couple kept what police say was a late-night burglary at their home from turning into a tragedy.

    The frightening ordeal began around 1:30 a.m. Saturday when Judie Martel awoke to hear pounding on her front door.

    "My first thought was, 'Is that thunder?'" she said. "The windows were rattling."

    Running from the couch where she had fallen asleep watching TV, Martel arrived at the door in time to see it splinter and a strange man step through.

    "He was as surprised to see me as I was to see him," Martel said.

    She described the intruder as "baby-faced" and "out of it," and said she did the first thing that came to mind: she scolded him.

    "I said, 'It's 2 o'clock in the morning! You need to go home to bed!'" she said. "I scolded him like a mother would."

    Then she pushed him back out the door and closed it as best she could.

    Looking out the window, Martel could see the man had what she described as a bag of tools with him. And instead of going home, he was headed around to the attached barn.

    "I knew the kitchen door was unlocked," she said. "So I had to decide if I should run and lock it, or go get my husband."

    Martel decided to head upstairs and wake her husband, John. Her next priority was calling 911.

    John Martel had slept through everything up until that point.

    "I'm a Vietnam vet, so I sleep with a white noise machine," he said. "When she woke me I grabbed my shotgun and the one shell I keep in the house."

    Running out the kitchen door, John Martel saw that the man had broken into the barn and was heading toward the house. When the man saw John raise the gun, he turned to run.

    "I was going to shoot to kill," Martel said. "But I've had enough of killing. I shot over his head and he ran up the road."

    Shortly after, officers from the Kennebunk Police Department arrived on the scene and the man, Sean Barker, 24, of Richmond, was arrested.

    Police said the man was attempting to enter a nearby Summer Street residence when they found him.

    Kennebunk police called in the Maine State Police and a K-9 unit from Wells, which quickly located a backpack, according to Kennebunk's Lt. Tony Burpee. Police found an ID for a second man spotted tracks in the snow leading.

    At the same time, Burpee said, several residents nearby had called 911 to report two men running through the woods behind their homes.

    Officers followed the tracks back to a Summer Street residence where they discovered Eric Wallace, 22, of Topsham, Burpee said. Police said the house belonged to Wallace's mother.

    The two men had been drinking to celebrate Barker's 24th birthday, Burpee said, and claimed they had mistaken the Heath Road house for Wallace's mother's Summer Street home.

    But Burpee said it was clear there was no case of simple mistaken identity.

    John Martel said it was clear from the footprints in the snow that both men had circled the homes on either side of them before deciding on his home.

    "The other two have alarms," he said, believing his un-alarmed house looked like an easier target. He called the alleged would-be burglars "pros."

    "They had a tool bag," he said, adding that Barker used a tool to cut through the wood of the door, "and a big, huge backpack to put stuff in."

    Burpee said both men also had police records.

    Barker had a 2007 conviction for theft in Livermore Falls, he said.

    Wallace faced several theft convictions out of the Bath/Brunswick area in 2005, Burpee said, including burglary of a motor vehicle and a conviction for allowing a minor to possess or consume alcohol.

    Burpee said Wallace also had a 2006 conviction for unlawful furnishing of a scheduled drug.

    Both men were on Saturday charged with one count of felony burglary and sent to York County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bail each. Both are scheduled to appear in York County Superior Court in Alfred on March 9.

    As for the Martels, they've since had their door repaired and installed new deadbolts. The couple also is considering the installment of an alarm system, guard dog or both, Judie Martel said.

    While both called their ordeal frightening, they said they learned a lot from the response from police.

    "We couldn't ask for a more wonderful police station than we've got," John Martel said. "You don't know until something like this happens."

    Judie Martel said she's trying to put the incident behind her, looking not at the crime itself but what she considers the positive outcome.

    "We were very, very blessed," she said.

    That's the social worker in his wife, John Martel said, always willing to believe the best of people. He's finding it hard not to imagine what could have happened, and the very different outcome they could've had.

    "If they had harmed her," he said, "I wouldn't have shot in the air."
    Not very smart on the woman's part to stand there yelling at the scumbag, she would've been better served to wake her husband immediately rather than check out the house alone while he slept.

    Her husband also needs to keep more than 1 round for the shottie in the house, preferably loaded and ready for action.
    "The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground."

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Array Freedom Doc's Avatar
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    +1 on keeping more ammo for the shottie, but on top of that he fires a warning shot with his one shot? Amazing!

    Firing above the head of a fleeing bad guy, with the one shot he has. Wow.
    Anti-gunners seem to believe that if we just pass enough laws, we can have utopia. Unfortunately, utopia is NOT one of our choices.

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    VIP Member Array grady's Avatar
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    Lots of mistakes by the homeowners. They got lucky.

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    I can understand being a vet and not wanting to kill anybody but that guy sure left a lot of common sense in the jungle when he left.He is lucky they weren't armed and decided to shoot back.! round of ammo,you think Bg's don't run in packs.I'm glad they have a wonderful police department I wonder how good their report taking and body recovery skills are
    When I read the heading I thought the woman was shooting her husband while she bitched at him in between shots,that there would be worse than death
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

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    VIP Member Array Kerbouchard's Avatar
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    He all but admitted to mental problems in a news story.

    I wonder how long it will be until his shotgun and one round of ammo is taken from him.
    There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil.

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    ???? 1 shell ?????
    what about 2 or more BGs? not the brightest guy. A warning shot is almost all 1 shell is good for.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."
    Thomas Jefferson

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    Senior Member Array DrLewall's Avatar
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    YIKES!!!
    "Brains before Bullets"

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    For some reason people don't think about crime in Maine. Home invasions are a huge problem. A lot of houses are summer homes with full time residents just here and there and a long way from a police station so they make easy targets. People are often robbed while they are at work and no one is even living close enough to see it happen. Elderly are targeted and sometimes beaten so they are afraid or ashamed to report it.

    This happened a short drive from where I live and literally down the street from where I grew up.

    Pittston family rebuilding lives six months after brutal attack - Bangor Daily News
    Being peaceful does not guarantee peace, strength and a willingness to commit violence when needed does.

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    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grady View Post
    Lots of mistakes by the homeowners. They got lucky.
    Agreed very much.

    This story is full of craziness by all parties involved.

    - Janq
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing

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    Perhaps a better title for the story would have been "God Looks Out for Stupid People".

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    Quote Originally Posted by grady View Post
    Lots of mistakes by the homeowners. They got lucky.



    If I need to pick between good vs. lucky, I'll take lucky every time.

    Better yet, well trained, well armed and sometimes lucky works for me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonnyghost View Post
    For some reason people don't think about crime in Maine. Home invasions are a huge problem.
    Albeit a lot of what the press now calls homeinvasions are simple B&Es see:

    Burglars target isolated houses for bold heists

    In Washington County, the sheriff's office has taken notice of the trend and warns criminals: We're after you.

    By KEVIN GILES, Star Tribune

    Last update: February 15, 2009 - 2:02 PM

    It was a Friday morning in January when John Kummer found his wife crying on the living room floor in a sea of broken glass.

    A burglar had smashed a patio door before ransacking bedrooms and stealing two rifles. He also left a trail of jewelry in the snow. She returned from church to find the mess, possibly no later than five minutes after the burglar left.

    "A whole house full of glass," Kummer recalled this week at his Denmark Township restaurant, a quarter mile from his house. "Luckily my wife didn't run into him."

    The Kummers' burglary experience is a typical one, said Mike Johnson, chief deputy in the Washington County Sheriff's Office. "Most people, honest citizens, don't think about this happening," he said. "Their sense of peace in their home is gone."

    Washington County is taking the fight to burglars, watching for changes in how they target houses and trying to anticipate where they'll hit next.

    The sheriff's office is paying special attention to organized burglary rings; in 2008, Washington County and four other police agencies caught five people accused of working together to hit houses. The ring had committed more than 40 burglaries in Washington County alone, Johnson said, apparently to pay for drug habits.

    It's not that the county sees an upswing in burglary complaints -- 236 last year, compared to 258 in 2007 -- but large portions of the county remain rural, with isolated houses hidden behind banks of trees. Such places are prime targets for daytime burglaries after homeowners have gone to work, Johnson said. And most burglars, he said, now are coming from outside Washington County.

    "We'd like to them to know that if they commit one here we're going to come after them," he said.

    A Hastings-area man, Justin Blake Quade, 19, was charged in Ramsey County with possessing stolen property from the Kummer house after being arrested in Maplewood, the Washington County Sheriff's Office said. Information about the burglary has been forwarded to the Washington County attorney for possible charges, said investigator Mark Rindfleisch.

    Kummer, who owns the nearby County Point cafe and bar on Hwy. 61 just north of Hastings, doesn't know if the burglar who hit his house knew it would be unoccupied. He said that he'd never had a theft at the house he built in 1960. The thief stole his Air Force insignia and medals. Some valuable diamond jewelry was sold right away, but the suspect later was caught with the rifles and other items, Kummer said.

    "I guess it's mostly the invasion of privacy," he said. "It's kind of your castle, you know. A guy you don't know goes in and dumps everything you own on the floor."

    Johnson said that burglars tend to steal cameras, computers and other electronics first. Jewelry comes second, firearms third. The latest pattern in Washington County is this: strangers knock on the doors of tree-screened houses on long driveways. If they find somebody home, they make excuses about looking for relatives, lost pets or gas stations. Burglars tend to be young adults who often steal cars for their lawbreaking antics.

    A recent burglary captured on a home security video in Stillwater Township shows a thief arriving in a black car and walking casually to the door. He leaves, but soon returns and kicks in a door. A short time later he emerges carrying a small bag.

    That burglary remains unsolved because the man's face is hard to identify and the car's license plate isn't visible. But he wore a bright orange or red stocking cap and jacket and seemed to know what he wanted, which raises questions about whether he knew the victims. (To see a video of the break-in, go to StarTribune.com | Videos from Minneapolis, St. Paul, the Twin Cities area and Minnesota.)

    Law enforcement agencies have sophisticated methods of tracking stolen goods sold to pawn shops, but bolder burglars try to hawk them online through eBay and Craigslist. Homeowners should keep a record of model and serial numbers, he said, but also should know that thieves grab whatever's handy, including family heirlooms.

    "We're looking at things that are very meaningful to families and victims, but have little meaning to criminals," he said.

    Kevin Giles 612-673-4432

    BTW -- some interesting pro & anti-gun comments in the "Comment on this story"
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    Veni, Vidi, Velcro

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    Distinguished Member Array Paymeister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by archer51 View Post
    ..."God Looks Out for Stupid People."
    Works for me.
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