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Johns Hopkins student kills intruder with samurai sword, police say -- baltimoresun.com

A Johns Hopkins University student armed with a samurai sword killed a man who broke into the garage of his off-campus residence early Tuesday, a Baltimore police spokesman said.

According to preliminary reports, a resident of the 300 block of E. University Parkway called police about a suspicious person, department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said. An off-duty officer responded about 1:20 a.m. to the area with university security, according to Guglielmi. They heard shouts and screams from a neighboring house and found the suspected burglar suffering from a nearly severed hand and lacerations to his upper body, he said.

The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene.

The student told police that he heard a commotion in the house and went downstairs armed with a samurai sword, Guglielmi said. He saw the side door to the garage had been pried open and found a man inside, who lunged at the student.

Detectives were still interviewing the student and his three roommates Tuesday morning, Guglielmi said. Burglars had already stolen two laptops and a Sony PlayStation from the student's home Monday, according to Guglielmi.

Dennis O'Shea, a spokesman for Johns Hopkins, said all four residents of the house are undergraduate students at the university.

The suspected burglar, whose name was not released pending notification of next of kin, had prior convictions for breaking and entering and had just been released Saturday from a Baltimore County facility, Guglielmi said.
 

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I think someone needs a sign "Warning Samurai on Duty"
Nice job on the students part.
 

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The suspected burglar, whose name was not released pending notification of next of kin, had prior convictions for breaking and entering and had just been released Saturday from a Baltimore County facility, Guglielmi said.
Nice...so he had a history of B&E...they released him on Saturday and by early Monday AM he was already at it again...
 

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Well it looks like the sentence for this one is terminal. He would have served himself by staying in the lockup. Oh well.
 

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Wow, that's pretty cool. From the nearly severed hand, I would guess the guy halfway knew what he was doing. Too bad he didn't go for the head.
 

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Being Maryland, you can expect charges to be filed against the guy defending his property.

Matt
 

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Being Maryland, you can expect charges to be filed against the guy defending his property.

Matt
The NSA (National Sword Association) lawyers must be stopped, there is too much Sword Violence, We must control and register all swords, we do not want to take your swords we just want to know who has them. All blades MUST have their serial number on the blade so the victims of sword violence have the serial numbers imprinted into their skin, allowing the police to look in to their sword database and identify the owner of the sword. Also we need sword locks that you must remove before you can use the sword on an intruder, this will only take a minute or two to remove the sword lock if someone breaks in your door, just tell the violent criminal to wait until you unlock your sword they really wont mind. :aargh4:

Seriously, Matt is right they will probably charge the victim/victor with attempted murder since he could have just fled out off his house instead of attacking the BG. I would be disgusted but not surprised.
 

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Being Maryland, you can expect charges to be filed against the guy defending his property.

Matt
Yep. ^^

As well he'll not be eligible for any self defense exclusion under castle laws due to item four (4) of the applicable MD law;

Self-defense is a common law doctrine that has been addressed by Maryland courts on
numerous occasions. Included in the doctrine of self-defense is a duty to retreat, that is, a
duty by the individual claiming self-defense to retreat and escape the danger if it was in
his power to do so and was consistent with maintaining his safety.

See Sydnor, 365 Md. at 216, 776 A.2d at 675.

In order to succeed on a claim of self-defense, the accused must have: (1) not been the aggressor or provoked the conflict; (2) had reasonable grounds to believe that he/she was in apparent imminent or immediate danger of losing his/her own life or incurring serious bodily harm from his/her assailant or potential assailant; (3) actually believed at the time that he/she faced this type of danger; and (4) not used more force than the situation demanded.
See Marquardt v. State, 164 Md. App. 95, 140 (2005). See also Sydnor v. State, 365 Md. 205, 216, A.2d 669, 675 (2001).

Traditionally, under common law, the right to the use of deadly force in self-defense did
not apply until the claimant “retreated to the wall.”...

Other states, like Maryland, have adopted an exception to the duty to retreat known as the “castle doctrine.” Under the castle doctrine, “a man faced with the danger of an attack upon his dwelling need not retreat from his home to escape the danger, but instead maystand his ground and, if necessary to repel the attack, may kill the attacker.”
See Burch v. State, 346 Md. 253, 283-4, 696 A.2d 443, 458 (1997) quoting Crawford v. State, 231 Md.
354, 361, 190 A.2d 538, 541 (1963).

Source - http://house.state.md.us/2007RS/fnotes/bil_0001/sb0761.pdf
Further he went to danger seeking it out and thus placing himself into danger at the garage, even as it might have been an attached structure.

There is no duty to retreat in MD, but there is an expectation to not engage and expose ones self to danger...which he did, directly resulting in "more force than the situation demanded".

Severely severing the hand is enough to _STOP_ a threat and render him a non-threat.
Continuing motion and activity to follow up with a slice to/across the body, which no doubt was his mortal wound, that secondary action in the immediate is manslaughter...if not a second degree murder charge.

He had better secure a very good attorney, stat.
Folks with lesser issues in MD have been charged, tried, and imprisoned. Seriously.
This is Maryland (!).

Yet another example of why and how _measured_ action AND reaction is a requisite as related to self defense be one at their home or elsewhere.
Also it is critical that folks understand their own state laws as not all or even most states allow taking of human life as to defend property.

- Janq
 

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Compliments of the freerepublic.com:



Charges for what you ask?

“Unlawful interference with involuntary wealth redistribution”.
 

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Too bad he didn't go for the head.
he still gets a "good job" from me. the affect and outcome was better this way. lopping off his head would have been to quick to think that he should have been going to church instead of breaking in.

I still like the outcome, Ted would be proud.
"I like dead offenders"
 

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Question. How does one know if the severed hand was an initial injury or the last injury sustained by the dead man? Maybe the owner was fending him off with the sword and the dead man kept coming at him until his had was severed.

There is lots of information missing on this one yet. I hope that the sword weilding fellow doesn't get time over this but as stated previously it is MD.
 

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Just goes to show that one should practice with edged weapons as well as firearms. This probably wouldn't have had the same outcome if the perp had a gun. Never take a knife to a gunfight. However, some situations require that you use whatever is at hand (no pun intended).
 

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Question. How does one know if the severed hand was an initial injury or the last injury sustained by the dead man? Maybe the owner was fending him off with the sword and the dead man kept coming at him until his had was severed...
A fine question, but it does not matter/make a difference in the end.

If the body strike had been the first action, and no doubt the mortal blow, then following the 'reasonable person' view any follow on and secondary blows would be unnecessary as related to _stopping_ the threat as in relation to protection of ones own self from t he threat and/or ability for ones own self to have means to remove them self from the threat.

That would be a (MD) prosecutors view, and case angle.

- Janq
 

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He gets a +1 from me. The pen might not be mightier than the sword after all :35:

As to whether it was excessive, whether he had the option of flight, yada yada the courts can sort out. Career criminals won't be getting any sympathy from me.
 

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If I saw a guy in my garage, and didn't have a gun, if I had a choice,I don't think that I would've wanted to get that close to him, unless I know the BG was unarmed, and I was really good with the sword, which might be why the student may have some legal Problems. Janq raised some good issues. (Hope the student didn't get spattered with the BG's blood).
 

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Well it toooooooooo bad that National Health Care isn't in effect to take care of the bad guy........lets see fix the hand or lethal injection..:blink: OH never mind government didn't get a chance to save him....ahhhhhh
 

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I realize that we all probably disagree with the idea of the DA prosecuting the student, but isn't it reasonable that a wound from the sword might not be instantly fatal, and might not have stopped the attack by the lunging criminal and a second hit might have been required? And did the article say that there were two strikes? Isn't it also possible that the wrist and torso injuries were caused by the same strike? A katana's a pretty long sword, correct? The guy could have tried to deflect the blow and gotten hit on the wrist and torso in the same strike.
 

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The article states;

"...found the suspected burglar suffering from a nearly severed hand and lacerations to his upper body..."

That is a at the least two distinct strikes if not more.
Note the AP reports that his hand was completely severed as in 'cut off'.

Outside of this BG having been doped up on PCP (which would be discovered later) or being the incarnation of Michael Myers himself (who is functionally unstoppable), it is 'reasonable person' reasonable to expect that a cutting (!) blow by a sword to most any part of the body would be more than enough to dissuade an attacker.

As to length there is in my area a museum that features a huge collection of period _real_ Japanese swords and other combat arms. I very much doubt this student in a group home owned a real katana, but rather a mall purchased imitation.
Regardless though they are not very long...Much less than a yard stick and approx. the length of a youth league baseball bat. Think 18" barrel shotgun and you would be pretty close.

Don't get me wrong as I'm not defending the BG.Nor do I have sympathy for the BG.
Clearly the BG was in the wrong.
I'm not condemning the victim either.
But expect a MD prosecutor to do so and to take a similar tack as what I've posted...Which is their job to do so as to prosecute violations within and to the letter of the law.

In this case specifically the letter of the law is clear. :|
If item #4 as I'd noted prior were not on the books then there would be no further discussion but who will cover clean up of the blood.

As a lesson by proxy for us all regardless of the tool we might employ as an arm, a _measured_ response is expected and in select states such as MD by statute is required.

- Janq
 

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Johns Hopkins student kills intruder with samurai sword, police say -- baltimoresun.com

A Johns Hopkins University student armed with a samurai sword killed a man who broke into the garage of his off-campus residence early Tuesday, a Baltimore police spokesman said.

According to preliminary reports, a resident of the 300 block of E. University Parkway called police about a suspicious person, department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said. An off-duty officer responded about 1:20 a.m. to the area with university security, according to Guglielmi. They heard shouts and screams from a neighboring house and found the suspected burglar suffering from a nearly severed hand and laceration to his upper body, he said.

The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene. Based on the initial investigation, the student killed the man with only one strike of the sword, according to Guglielmi. The medical examiner will make the final determination, he said.

The student told police that he heard a commotion in the house and went downstairs armed with the sword, Guglielmi said. He saw the side door to the garage had been pried open and found a man inside, who lunged at the student. There was no indication that the suspected burglar was armed, however, according to Guglielmi.

Burglars had already stolen two laptops and a Sony PlayStation from the student's home Monday, Guglielmi said.

Dennis O'Shea, a spokesman for Johns Hopkins, said all four residents of the house are undergraduate students at the university. Police had released three of the roommates by Tuesday afternoon. The student who wielded the sword remained in custody while investigators worked to corroborate his story with evidence and witness statements. Police have not released the name of the residents, but department sources identified the detained student as John Pontolillo, 20, of Wall, N.J.

The city state's attorney's office will determine whether to press charges, Guglielmi said.
According to this article, the INITIAL investigation states that there was only one strike of the sword, so it appears that CJ810 may be correct in his assumption. I can see the student raising the sword, the perp raising his hand to block the strike, thus losing his hand and taking a mortal strike to the torso. Seems very plausible.

Hopefully the kid isn't prosecuted.
 
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