I think the resident acted reasonably.
This is a discussion on Man shoots bounty hunter within the In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly forums, part of the The Back Porch category; forgot to post this the other day.. Man shoots bounty hunter in the stomach | LOCAL NEWS | KHOU.com | News for Houston, Texas HOUSTON—A ...
forgot to post this the other day..
Man shoots bounty hunter in the stomach | LOCAL NEWS | KHOU.com | News for Houston, Texas
HOUSTON—A bounty hunter was shot by a Houston homeowner early Wednesday morning, investigators said.
It happened on Lynda near Highway 249.
Jesus Hinojosa said a group of armed men started banging on his door around 3:30 a.m. (time for this)
When he opened the door, Hinojosa said one of the men stuck a gun inside. That’s when Hinojosa says he fired two shots, hitting one of the bounty hunters in the stomach.
“I thought they were just trying to get in and rob us,” Hinojosa said.
After the shots were fired, the men ran off, and Hinojosa said he called police.
The wounded man was Life Flighted to the hospital in stable condition.
Investigators said they are getting conflicting stories about what exactly happened, but Hinojosa insisted the men never identified themselves.
What’s more, the bounty hunters were reportedly looking for a man who wasn’t there.
“They were looking for a guy that—He doesn’t live here. He was my mom’s boyfriend, but he doesn’t live here. His address is not this address. I don’t even know why they came looking for him here in such an aggressive manner. That was just totally unnecessary. They could have knocked on the door without drawing their guns and I would have opened it and talked to them,” Hinojosa said.
The incident is under investigation, but Hinojosa maintains he was just trying to protect his family.
“I feel bad for the guy, but I just thought they were trying to hurt my family. I mean, what would you do? You open your door at 3:30 in the morning and you see guns pointed in your face? I mean, I think I did the right thing,” Hinojosa said.
Rules of engagement
So what are the rules of engagement for the people bail bond companies hire as bounty hunters?
11 News legal analyst Gerald Treece said that bounty hunters are sort of a step below law enforcement officers.
“They have a right to arrest you if there’s a warrant out for you,” he said.
If they document a clear and present danger, and they have a private investigator’s license, Treece says, they can show up at a residence with guns drawn.
The Texas Department of Public Safety said that bounty hunters can not enter a residence without the occupant’s permission.
In Hinojosa’s case, Treece says he acted reasonably.
“They better realize that people in their homes have the Castle Doctrine on their side,” said Treece.
That law states that if someone is on your property, at night, without your permission, you can use deadly force.
I don't deal with psychos. I put them away. - Marion Cobretti- Cobra
I think the resident acted reasonably.
Bounty hunters are a concerning bunch. They seem to have a lot of legal leeway that can go bad really fast if they hit the wrong house.
I understand that bounty hunters have a legitimate purpose if national and state law so allows. That said:
Risk accepted...risk realized. Better intel next time, perhaps?
I hope the individual does recover from his wound.
If the public are bound to yield obedience to laws to which they cannot give their approbation, they are slaves to those who make such laws and enforce them.--Samuel Adams as Candidus, Boston Gazette 20 Jan. 1772
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Why did he open his door, and per his statements would he open his door again, to some unknown persons unexpected knocks at 3:30AM?
That in and of itself is foolish.
After dark I don't open the door for anyone unless I am expecting them.
He should have called 911 and waited for police to arrive. If they broke in then defend himself with 911 on the phone.
It's hard to understand how knocking on anyone's door at 3 A.M. is going to be without problems.
I would not have opened the door without seeing lots of 'black and whites' with spinning red lights parked on my lawn.
My first impulses would be to be armed and dial 911.
Sounds like the home owner did what we all might do in terms of HD (except for opening the door).
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Being a bounty hunter is a risky career....maybe in the top ten? I guess that's all I have to say.
That says it all.“I feel bad for the guy, but I just thought they were trying to hurt my family. I mean, what would you do? You open your door at 3:30 in the morning and you see guns pointed in your face? I mean, I think I did the right thing,” Hinojosa said.
At home, 3:30am, guns in face, Texas. No-Bill.
i would have done the same thing
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I've often wondered about this happening (since watching an episode of Dog the Bounty Hunter, lol). I agree that the homeowner's actions were completely justified, although I wouldn't have opened up the door.
"In America, freedom and justice have always come from the ballot box, the jury box, and when that fails, the cartridge box."
-- Steve Symms, US Senator from Idaho, 1990
DON'T OPEN THE DOOR.
Now that that's out of the way...I can't say I'd do anything different than this homeowner if I was placed in the same situation...except for opening the door
"If I was an extremist, our founding fathers would all be extremists," he said. "Without them, we wouldn't have our independence. We'd be a disarmed British system of feudal subjectivity."
Considering the number of fugitives, I'm amazed bad mistakes like this don't happen much more often. About a decade back some bounty hunters mistakenly kidnapped (uh-took into custody) the wrong person and drove them half way across the country to where they were wanted, before anyone realized they had the wrong person.
Certainly the guy who did the shooting here has no responsibility since these guys were at the wrong home, at 3 AM, and pointed a gun. His opening the door doesn't give anyone a right to point a gun at him.
I'm surprised he was able to react and fire on a drawn weapon. That makes his story just a tad questionable in my mind; but I'll give him the benefit until the police have investigated and charged someone with something.
Unfortunately we're only getting one side of the story. With what is available it appears the homeowner was justified in shooting.
IMHO there is nothing more to the story.
The bounty hunters in doing a job, that is lawful, were seeking a felon who has fled and they were checking a possible source of hiding. This is normal.
It is also normal for them in their seeking out of a fleeing felon to investigate known relatives and relative relations (he is son to the woman that had been dating the subject). This too is normal practice, and rational sound thinking.
They tend to do their work in the wee hours. Again normal.
What was wrong was for the homeowner to pen his door to _strangers_ of unknown quantity and interest at all muchless to do so at 3:30AM (!).
He had thought enough to arm himself, but at the same time did not think to NOT open the door to his castle (!). Do not do this at home folks. :|
Simply talk to these people through the door. The locked and dead bolted door.
Ascertain who they are and what they want. If they are not the cops, then call the cops. This is simple and plan street sense.
After he unlocked much less opened the door the rest is just completely avoidable by the homeowner shenanigans.
Per the thread by a member here several days ago about an unexpected knock at his own door and his reaction as well which also included opening the door to which he stated he 'braced' the door using his foot (to easily be broken upon the door being forced open). Do not do this stuff folks.
You are not legally, morally, nor even socially compelled to answer your door at all to anyone not even LEOs (who do not possess a warrant). Never mind opening the door to speak with them face to face. What is that about people? You do not have to see someones face to speak to them or even hold a conversation. Talk thorugh the door and they can do same until you feel comfortable about who they are and what they want from you, at 3:30AM (!).
Do not be this guy.