Homeowner Pulls Gun On Robbery Suspect: How Far Do You Follow A Suspect?
AUSTIN, TEXAS — How far would you go to recover what’s yours? One homeowner took control of a home invasion after discovering his home had been broken into. The couple awoke when dogs started barking but by the time the man retrieved his gun to go inspect, the suspect was already fleeing.
According to KEYE TV, the Austin homeowner found the suspect just outside his backyard. The man was attempting to enter a Chrysler Cruiser when he was confronted. He said he was just coming from a neighbor’s home but with a shotgun levelled at him, he attempted to flee. His passenger’s side window got a motivating buttstroke from the homeowner’s gun and shattered. Taking precisely zero chances, the man fled the scene.
Upon assessing the situation, the homeowner discovered that a drill had been taken from the back of his truck, a pink iPod Nano was also stolen alongside a 65 inch TV from out of the living room.
He later recovered the TV further on down the street. According to a police affadavit, he also discovered a knife that wasn’t his in the backyard — so the perpetrator came armed but wisely decided to drop the weapon once he knew he was being pursued.
Wise move. In the game of rock, paper, knife, shotgun, knife doesn’t beat shotgun.
Police tracked down the home invader to his home where he, of course, denied any involvement. Police bought that for all about two microseconds before putting the man under arrest.
Take home? Don’t screw up in Texas. Really.
The second take-away that we’d like to talk about is pursuing a suspect in a home invasion or really any crime. In Texas, Stand Your Ground and Castle Doctrine both strictly apply and can be extended to encompass simply witnessing a violent felony taking place.
Because the man was believed to be armed and used forced entry into another home, deadly force is perfectly reasonable in challenging him. However, he had departed by the time the homeowner became aware of his transgression.
In Texas, for the most part, the homeowner is perfectly fine in his actions. However, be warned, some home invaders are a lot nastier than others and pursuing them outside can turn into a very violent scenario quickly.
In general, we recommend that once you know you’re secure and your house is relatively secure (sans break-in), sit tight, call the police, and report any details that can help identify the person or persons who authored this ordeal.
But, we also want to ask — how far would you go to pursue someone who broke into your home?
For the discussion, we’d like to elucidate that not all states view self-defense the same way once you go from defensive operations to a pursuit. Once you step outside your property, the firmness of the law begins to erode quickly.
In this particular case, we don’t think the homeowner did anything wrong. We’ve reported on other cases, though, where the homeowner goes to inspect outside and gets ambushed or even gets stuck in a close quarters struggle for survival.
Neither of those scenarios sit well for us.
Safety and security first. Justice will follow.
But maybe we’re looking at it all wrong. You tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.