Last week, a residence was burglarized while the owner was at work. Some items were stolen, but a safe was left unmolested. The following day, the homeowner’s sons stop by to check on the house.
While checking on the house, one son hears somebody inside that he correctly believes is trying to crack the safe. He and his brother surround the house, and confront the suspect when he tries to exit the front door. The burglar comes at one son, which places the son in fear for his life, so he whacks the burglar with a pipe wrench.
Officers arrive to find one semi-conscious, and very compliant burglar in need of stitches.
As it turns out, the would-be thief was found in possession of stolen property from the previous day’s burglary, so after a trip to the hospital, he went to jail on two counts of burglary.
I’ve frequently advocated for teaching citizens how and when to use force in self defense. It is pretty clear that these brothers knew both how and when to apply that level of force reasonable for the situation.
Not every citizen understands his or her rights to use force – especially when and what amount. In this case it worked out ok. However, I still think it is very important for departments to have open conversations with the community to further educate law abiding citizens that it is ok to use reasonable force to protect one’s self and family.