County homeowner detains burglar until police arrive; Officers vocalize right to def
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Thread: County homeowner detains burglar until police arrive; Officers vocalize right to def

  1. #1

    County homeowner detains burglar until police arrive; Officers vocalize right to def

    Posted on November 5, 2013
    kpeek by Kendra Peek
    A Burgin man got more than he bargained for when he broke into a home Sunday afternoon on Lancaster Road in Boyle County.
    Eric Collins, 48, entered the home about 3 p.m. but, unfortunately, “he picked the wrong house,” said Boyle County Sheriff Marty Elliott.
    The homeowner, Jesse Smith, is an outdoorsman and veteran who said he was considered an expert marksman when he was in the military.
    Smith, who had been away from home Sunday, returned to find a truck belonging to Collins in the driveway.
    Removing the keys from the truck, Smith armed himself and went toward the house. Trying the front door, he noted that the deadbolt was still locked, but the handle was unlocked, which was unusual.
    Smith said the deadbolt requires a key to open it from the inside, as well as from the outside, meaning Collins was unable to use the door as an exit.
    Traveling around the exterior of the home, Smith discovered Collins, who was attempting to escape through a window. Collins showed Smith his arm, which was severely cut during his attempted escape.
    Having already typed 911 in his phone, Smith called the emergency line and spoke with dispatch.
    A self-described “gun advocate,” Smith never had to fire on Collins. He said he didn’t want to harm the man but had determined he was not going to be a victim.
    “People have asked why I didn’t shoot him. I didn’t feel threatened,” Smith said.
    Collins exited the house through the window and asked Smith for help. Smith applied a tourniquet on the arm until emergency personnel could arrive.
    “I kept asking him to sit down because I was concerned for the amount of blood he had lost,” Smith shared.
    Sheriff Elliott said Collins is fortunate the homeowner helped him rather than shoot him.
    Smith “acted appropriately by arming himself, met the gentleman and told him to stay where he was until officers arrived,” Elliott said.
    After police arrived, Collins was transported to Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center before being sent on to the University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center in Lexington, where he underwent emergency surgery.
    Elliott said Collins was supposed to be released to police; however, due to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, officers were not notified and Collins left the hospital. He was later located in Burgin during a traffic stop.
    Collins was believed to be under the influence when the crime was committed and is now lodged in the Boyle County Detention Center. Elliott said Collins is a repeat offender, which is reflected in his charges: possession of a handgun by a convicted felon, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, driving under the influence of intoxicants, burglary, criminal mischief and theft by unlawful taking.
    Elliott believes Smith is to be “commended” for holding Collins at the residence. While he doesn’t recommend every homeowner take up arms, Elliott advises taking precautions to protect oneself and family.
    “There are steps out there,” Elliott said, noting such things as security systems and self-defense classes. “Be diligent, be confident. Pay close attention to suspicious vehicles. If the dog barks, look out the window.”
    Danville Police Chief Tony Gray echoed similar sentiments, noting that, under Kentucky Revised Statute 503.055, known as the Castle Doctrine, everyone has the protected right to defend their property, their family and themselves.
    That defense of self goes beyond the home, the men note. While the Castle Doctrine primarily refers to an individual’s property — land, vehicle, etc. — it also has a “stand your ground” clause, Gray explained, for the purpose of personal defense when someone feels they are under attack.
    Taking proactive steps, the two officers say, can help in gaining a skill set for self-defense and the confidence to do so. Gray noted that his department offers rape aggression defense, or RAD, classes throughout the year.
    However, Gray encourages anyone who is considering getting firearms for protection to undergo the proper concealeded carry training.
    “It’s important that (the homeowners) are comfortable with those weapons. It’s going to be a high-stress situation. You need to be comfortable and confident in using that firearm,” Gray said. Taking those classes, he explained, teach the user how to properly handle their weapon and how to become comfortable with that weapon. Without the confidence to use it, he noted, it won’t make a difference.
    While his department did not work the case involving Smith and his self-protection, Gray said, his understanding was that the situation worked out “the way the law was intended.”
    That is because Smith, who is familiar with firearms, was confident and maintained control of the situation, without having to fire a shot.
    People choosing to break into homes should be worried, Smith said. “The situation could be different.”
    Elliott believes situations such as this, where the homeowner is forced to protect himself or herself, will be on the rise. With use of drugs, specifically heroin, increasing, he believes the state will continue to see more violent crimes and break-ins.
    “This isn’t Pleasantville anymore,” Elliott said.
    His department has worked more break-ins over the last five months than in one or two years previously. For that reason, the department maintains an active member of the Drug Enforcement Special Investigations Unit, or DESI. By keeping a deputy on the taskforce and maintaining a good relationship with the statewide unit, it carries the benefit of statewide connections and manpower.
    “The thing the community needs to understand, the homeowner defending himself or herself is not the problem. The situation has been created by a criminal,” Elliott said. “The homeowner is being put in a situation where they’re going to have to react to the criminal element.”
    While law enforcement strives to protect and serve, Elliott said, the entities are now becoming more reactive than proactive. Both the Boyle County Sheriff’s Office and the Danville Police Department have fewer officers than either leading officer would like to see. For Elliott, that has meant adding special deputies to the ranks, volunteers who have undergone training to be deputized. The special deputies are tactical medics, Elliott said, trained to make entry and deal with trauma, such as gunshot or stab wounds.
    Follow Kendra Peek on Twitter, @knpeek.

  3. #2
    I probably wouldn't have shot him either, but I doubt if I would have helped him unless he was bleeding all over my house. Apparently I lack compassion for bad guys.
    Do Not Meddle In The Affairs Of Dragons ~ For You Are Crunchy And Good With Ketchup

  4. #3
    I agree with Peggy. Helping to apply a tourniquet was a high risk action. More could go bad than good. I would have instructed him to apply direct pressure and wait for help to arrive. We have been assured cops will be there in time to help unarmed citizens in their homes when bad guys break in so I'm sure they will arrive in time to save him. I might offer to apply direct pressure by having him lay down on his stomach and I'd step on his arm with my gun in his ear. I figure with his arms and legs outstretched he won't be able to get enough leverage from that position before I could end the situation. I would not approach him unless he was in a helpless position (on the ground as described earlier).

    If he was not good with that he could just lay there and bleed. He might be a good enough actor to fool someone that he was more helpless than he appeared. Anyway, that's what I'd be thinking.
    Typos are for the entertainment of the reader. Don't let it go to your head!

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    north east Iowa
    I really wouldn't want to shoot someone. Even trained law enforcement personnel have problems after shooting another human It's also expensive to replace carpeting, repaint, and patch bullet holes. Fortunately, just the presence of an armed homeowner often ends the threat.

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Peggy Reist View Post
    I probably wouldn't have shot him either, but I doubt if I would have helped him unless he was bleeding all over my house. Apparently I lack compassion for bad guys.
    Yeah. Toss him a short piece of rope and tell him to use it as he sees fit - around his arm or around his neck... 😀
    Lewis - NRA Life - Oregon Firearms Federation - National Assoc. for Gun Rights

    Gun control is NOT about guns, it's about CONTROL.

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