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As short as possible, my dog was barking towards neighbors house. I noticed curtain drop back down when I went out to shut her up...odd since neighbor died 14 months ago and no one lives there.

I go over and knock on door, step to the side with hand at the ready near my hip. Turns out the couple across the street was checking up on the house to make sure the ac was on (Florida).

If I had confronted a BG, would I be wrong to draw on her (don't want to be sexist), if needed? Not my property, and I walked into the situation knowingly. Should I have just minded my business? Neighbors daughters have asked me to "keep an eye" on the place until they list it for sale.

Comments? Suggestions? Flames?
 

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Thanks guys... That's kinda the thought that went through my head about 2 seconds after I knocked. I'm the guy who runs in to burning buildings, climbs into car crashes and breaks up dog fights...thick headed! I blame either my military training or years as an alter boy!

Next time it's 911 from my recliner!
 

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Florida is NOT Texas! In Texas.............. you probably could get off. Not in Florida under current statute. Just sayin.

Agree with stay at home, peep out window and call 911. Only react after that if you see bodily and life at harm.
 

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even maybe go in "Your Own Front Yard" and be peak over... here in GA we don't play superhero...we call the cops and watch from a distance to see whats going on or if assistance is needed...not put yourself in danger by playing POLICE...:comeandgetsome:
 

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...somebody forgot to tell this guy: Rome neighbor stops burglary in progress - CBS Atlanta 46

...AND this one: http://www.easybakegunclub.com/news...,-Burglar-Screams-(Georgia).html#.UZcIki0o5LM

...c'mon, y'all admit it...you GA guys love playing Texan...

even maybe go in "Your Own Front Yard" and be peak over... here in GA we don't play superhero...we call the cops and watch from a distance to see whats going on or if assistance is needed...not put yourself in danger by playing POLICE...:comeandgetsome:
 

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Legally, you'd be out of your "jurisdiction" so to speak. I would personally call 911 and keep an eye out from my own house (or lawn if it was at a distance).

If you must investigate and do your best to secure the place, you could go over to confront the threat (from outside). Since the owner is... no longer living there... it'd be hard for you to be charged with trespassing. I'm sure if the BG saw you witnessing them and calling the cops, they'd high tail out of there. If they did threaten you, then you could use self defense.

I would avoid going inside, however you could guard the door or window that was used to gain entry. I wouldn't recommend either of these things but if you have to do something, be legally smart about it. The key is when the cops do show up, you don't want to look like the BG (especially while armed).
 

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I agree with all of the above. It isn't your house and you know nobody lives there. 911 and wait it out. There is no reason to engage a BG if he isn't threatening you or your house directly.
 

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...it does vary greatly from state to state...no blanket statements cover it accurately...gotta read and follow the state's laws in which it happens to get the truth...
Legally, you'd be out of your "jurisdiction" so to speak. I would personally call 911 and keep an eye out from my own house (or lawn if it was at a distance).

If you must investigate and do your best to secure the place, you could go over to confront the threat (from outside). Since the owner is... no longer living there... it'd be hard for you to be charged with trespassing. I'm sure if the BG saw you witnessing them and calling the cops, they'd high tail out of there. If they did threaten you, then you could use self defense.

I would avoid going inside, however you could guard the door or window that was used to gain entry. I wouldn't recommend either of these things but if you have to do something, be legally smart about it. The key is when the cops do show up, you don't want to look like the BG (especially while armed).
 

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When in doubt...call 911. Better safe than sorry!
 

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my dog was barking towards neighbors house. I noticed curtain drop back down when I went out to shut her up ... neighbor died 14 months ago and no one lives there.
You knew for a fact that nobody lived there, yet you saw movement at a house that was not yours? Sounds like there's little reason to suspect someone's in dire need of neighbor assistance at that point (as the neighbor doesn't exist anymore), and there's a high likelihood (possibly even near-certainty) the person inside isn't the Avon lady.

It comes to this: are you willing to come under fire/attack for a home without a resident you strongly suspect is being burgled? What are you prepared to lose, up to and including your life?

IMO, that's what the police are for. Situations like this can be deadly, if they turn out to be what they seem.

That said, I'm all for assisting a neighbor in situations where it's clear someone is in dire, life-or-death circumstances, particularly if I strongly believe my direct actions are likely to change things. But in this instance, you knew for a fact that neighbor had died and that nobody lived there. Either someone had every right to be there (such as another neighbor requested by the family to manage the AC) or the 'someone' inside was up to no good. Either way, nobody's life was on the line, there. For myself, that's not a situation where risking my own life makes any sense, being instead the perfect situation for calling the police.
 

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Should I have just minded my business?
You should have called 911 and reported a possible burglary. You are not LEO!

Here's a hint that many of you, for some reason, don't get: UNLESS YOUR LIFE, OR THE LIFE OF SOMEONE ELSE IS IN IMMEDIATE DANGER - CALL THE POLICE!
saa.
 
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No one can really know what would happen to you. Would you be charged with a crime or wouldn't you be charged? Did the BG die or not? Who knows for sure. But here's how I evaluate situations I'm presented with, and it is based on how I was trained and what I've learned with professional instruction I paid good money to attend.

While every state has their own specific lethal force laws which may or may not contain special provisions, inclusions, exceptions or whatever unique to that particular state, it is universally accepted in all states that you are justified in using lethal force to repel an attack in the following situation. When you are placed in "Immediate, and otherwise unavoidable threat of death, or crippling injury" you become justified in using lethal force to repel the attack and stop the immediate threat.

The two words "otherwise unavoidable" is usually what gets most people into trouble in determining whether it was justifiable or not. Even in states with stand your ground laws where you don't have a duty to retreat, if you knowingly go into harms way where you know there's a chance things could develop into a lethal force encounter, and then something happens, you quite possibly could end up being charged with some form of murder if there is a shooting and the person you shot dies.

So what is presented in this situation? You're outside attending to your barking dog when you notice someone closing the shades in your neighbors house. You know for a fact your neighbor recently died and the house is vacant. A relative even casually asked you to "keep and eye on the place until they sell it."

So, in your mind, you are armed with the knowledge that the house is supposed to be vacant, and why. With that same knowledge, any "reasonable person" can assume that if someone is pulling the drapes down in a house they are not supposed to have access, there is a distinct possibility that person is a criminal who may be burglarizing the home. A reasonable person can also assume that confronting a burglar during the commission of a crime could easily turn into a violent struggle. A violent crime which would "otherwise be avoided" by not going there armed with a gun.

That is pretty much the methodology I go through when deciding how I'm going to act in any given situation. Now, no one is going to know for sure if you would be charged with a crime or given a medal and the key to the city for your actions. So you have to ask yourself... Do you want to go down that road and find out? Or, would it be better in this case to just call the police and let them come check it out.

At some point, you have to ask yourself... When your deceased neighbor's relative casually asked you to "keep an eye on the place," did they really expect you to go over and risk your life or your freedom by going over and confronting a violent criminal willing to harm you trying to escape? Or, would they be just as happy, and consider you a good neighbor just for being observant and calling the police for them?
 
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...Texas law on deadly force is written differently than a lot of states...it covers a lot of circumstances where one might put his own life at risk to help another, or might become involved in another's problems...or might be protecting another's property...because some folks just do those things...some folks aren't made to sit back and wait till the police get there...and they are afforded consideration in the law...

...whether a person chooses to do so is not anyone's business but his own...same as it's no one's business when one chooses not to become involved...yet everytime something comes up for discussion, there are those who pontificate about "what we all oughta do"...and how stupid we are if we this and such or that...

...what is it that is within a lot of us that just won't let us be satisfied to state what we might do, or plan to do...according to what our laws allow and our personal values.......and let others who might choose differently do the same without all the judging and condemning and labeling...

...because there's not a one of us here who would judge, label, or condemn a person who witnessed one of our loved ones in trouble and chose to act within the law, enabling our loved one to call us and say "Honey,(or Dad) I'm OK, but this happened today" instead of our getting a call saying "Are you Mr. Smith, husband(father) of Mrs. Smith, Sir we need you to..."

in this OP's case..."Sir, burglars hit your property and by the time we could get there..." wouldn't be nearly as good to hear as "Sir, one of your neighbors kept your ...'s house from being ripped off today"...we might not SEND them into harm's way...but would we not honestly be grateful if they acted within the laws of your state and preserved what you've worked hard to have?


...you do your thing...and be happy and content that you did what was right for you...

...and I'll do my thing...and do the same...based on my experiences, training, and choices...that's why they make all the different kinds of ice cream...folks are different...
 

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Thanks guys... That's kinda the thought that went through my head about 2 seconds after I knocked. I'm the guy who runs in to burning buildings, climbs into car crashes and breaks up dog fights...thick headed! I blame either my military training or years as an alter boy!

Next time it's 911 from my recliner!
Military training should have taught you to think and react, not to just react. You had ample time to decide what you wanted to do. This was not an immediate need tp react. In fact, the whole time your assumption was no one lived there so therfore you were not even going to the possible rescue of someone.
Sorry to be blunt, but by saying "military training" makes it sound like we are a bunch of cowboys that throw care to the wind. No military branch advocates what you did.
 

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... let others who might choose differently do the same without all the judging and condemning and labeling.
It's not about condemnation, or labeling.

It's about identifying risks and realities in situations and bringing up things that people need to understand. It's about performing our responsibility on this discussion forum, of evaluating scenarios with the pros/cons we each see, presenting those ideas and opinions, so that all can think about these things for themselves and learn from them.

It most definitely is about judging the risks and discerning the proper course of action for ourselves. IMO, it's why we're here.

You're right, the statutes in each state is somewhat different. And, you're right, that everyone is different and has a given level of training, background, motivation, belief in what's right, and all the rest. Jumping right in, blindly, is for some folks (and I'm not saying that was what this situation was, at all); some will jump in only when life is on the line, given the risk of losing one's own life; some wouldn't help another if the whole house was burning to ruins. As you say, it's why they make many flavors of ice cream. IOW, YMMV, as does mine and everyone else's.
 

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I'm another that would step up as needed. I would have checked on the house also. As far as good shoot or possible court case... I was asked to watch over the place. "If" I were attacked while I was knocking at the door I would think that would be defense of my own life. and defensible. DR
 
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