County homeowner detains burglar until police arrive; Officers vocalize rights.
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Thread: County homeowner detains burglar until police arrive; Officers vocalize rights.

  1. #1

    County homeowner detains burglar until police arrive; Officers vocalize rights.

    This incident was reported by the Advocate Messenger newspaper in Danville, KY. It goes to show that it isn't always necessary to shoot a burglar and, in this case, the homeowner actually saved the thief's life.

    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
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Western South Dakota
    however, due to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, officers were not notified and Collins left the hospital.
    How many ways is that part of the story just plain wrong?

    If he wasn't cuffed to a bed, why wasn't an officer present?
    HIPAA may protect us, but it also gets in the way, especially when people misinterpret what it means.
    Never argue with a red-haired witch. It wastes your breath and only delays the inevitable. --the collected sayings of Wiz Zumwalt

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Santa Fe Area, New Mexico
    While it's not necessary to CAP every BG, it must be known that ONLY with due training and diligence is this an option for a formally trained individual. YOU gotta make that call within those tenths of a seconds. Because that's all you going get.
    If you're trained in take down fine, if you not so be it. Training-Training-Training. Will most comprehend and understand this post? If not, train some more.
    "The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities." --author and philosopher Ayn Rand (1905-1982)

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