Homeowner Jailed While the Burglar He Attacked Walks Free
Robert Siciliano Identity Theft Expert
There are few scenarios as disturbing as one’s home being burglarized or invaded. The thought of having an uninvited person enter your property while you are home or not, and then taking your stuff, holding you or your family hostage or committing violent acts is an unthinkable event most people are unprepared for.
A “home invasion”, is the crime of entering a private and occupied dwelling, with the intent of committing a crime, often while threatening the resident of the dwelling. It is not a legally defined offense (federally) in the United States. One would think that when a horrendous crime like this occurs that the intended victim can and should do whatever is possible to defend themselves.
In this disturbing article in the UK, a homeowner fought back and attacked his attacker, freed his family and got 30 months in jail. This is a USA problem too and unfortunately, is not a new problem. In a court of law, people have been claiming “self defense” since the beginning of time. However, in a litigious society such as ours that defense is often abused which has required the courts to look very close at each incident. Unfortunately, justice isn’t always served and common sense goes out the window.
State to state courts have come to different conclusions as to what a homeowner can and cannot do when defending themselves from a home invasion. It is important to read up and do your homework to determine what your options are and what the laws in your state are.
To prevent a home invasion:
- Always lock your doors, even while you are at home
- Never open your doors to a stranger no matter who they say they are
- Install an alarm system and keep it on during the day while you are home
- Install security cameras that record motion 24 hours a day. This would help in court.
See Robert discussing home invasions on the Montel Williams Show
Robert Siciliano is a personal security and identity theft expert for Home Security Source. (Disclosures)
This really isn’t a case of a person getting sentenced to prison for “defending their self” or “freeing their family”. If you read the article closely, he chased the invaders down the street (at which point his family was already free) and beat the guy with a bat. Although that action sounds emotionally very satisfying, it does not fall under the realm of “self defense” because at that point he was no longer in immediate danger from the fleeing criminal.
The criminal in this case got lucky. There are places in the USA where trying that would have far different outcome because the homeowner would beat the burglar unconscious…drag his limp body back into the house and sever his head with a shotgun blast so he couldn’t testify. Depending on where you live, home invasion can be a dangerous occupation.
But even tho he left, because the homeowner chased him out, he could have come back, and maybe the homeowner didnt want to put his family in jeopardy again, right?
The question is whats a safe distance? What if he came back with fire power? If a dog attacks, do you just let it linger? Or beat it with a bat so it doesn’t do it again?
Robert, I completely agree…I was just being restrained in commenting because this is a public forum…but truth be told…I wouldn’t have faulted the guy if he had beat the guy unconscious, dragged him back home, and then tied him up and tortured him into divulging the identities of the two burglars that got away. I’m sure after enough time/pain he would have “remembered” who his partners in crime were and been more than willing to make a helpful video recording to assist the police. 😉
Nice. Im doing my best not to “express” myself too!