Good evening all. Sorry I didn’t post anything yesterday, but I was recovering from that horror that Slimy Weasel posted. We will rock you on bagpipes? *Shudder*
Anyway, today I read something in the local rag that has my blood boiling. It seems someone stopped a burglary and now is being threatened with a felony conviction.
What’s this all about you ask? Allow me to elaborate with the help of the Manchester Union Leader.
FARMINGTON — A 61-year-old man is facing felony charges after he said he fired a shot into the ground to apprehend a burglar Saturday afternoon.
Ok, I don’t see a problem here. Citizen catches a burglar and fires a warning shot into the ground, away from the criminal to keep him from either fleeing or attacking the 61 year old citizen. So what are the details?
After discovering someone had rummaged through the drawers and taken items from his home on Ten Rod Road, Dennis Fleming said he grabbed a .38 caliber handgun from a shelf, went outside and spotted a man with a backpack walking down the road.
“It’s a violation. I was pissed,” Fleming said, adding he realized he should have called police, but wasn’t sure officers would arrive in time.
When seconds count, police, especially in a rural area are usually minutes, and more like hours away.
The sound of a crash at a neighbor’s home — just over 1,000 feet away — drew Fleming’s attention; he spotted the same man he’d seen on the road coming out of his neighbor’s window.
Fleming said he wasn’t sure he could stop the man, so he fired his pistol once into the ground — far off to the side — to detain the man, later identified as Joseph Hebert, 27, of 70 Bunker St.
Ok, so he didn’t shoot AT the criminal, but shot away FROM the criminal so that he wouldn’t HIT the criminal.
“I just wanted him to take me serious,” Fleming said. “He did.”
Good. The last thing you want is to have some hopped up punk try and jump you. Remember, Mr. Fleming is 61 and the criminal is 27. While I don’t doubt Mr. Fleming could put up a fight. (I’m judging by his picture), the odds would have been against him in a fist fight.
Fleming said he unloaded the pistol and put it on a nearby rock after a couple of his neighbors arrived to restrain Hebert, who police said had broken his heel jumping out of Fleming’s second-floor window.
So, in order NOT to alarm the police when they showed up after their coffee and donuts, he UNLOADED his pistol and placed it in plain site. So far, sounds like a responsible person to me. Unfortunately, not to the police or the District Attorney.
Police Chief Scott Roberge said officers had contacted the Strafford County Attorney’s Office, which recommended Fleming be charged with reckless conduct, a class B felony, for discharging his weapon.
“My understanding is that he (Fleming) fired a warning shot,” Roberge said. Strafford County Attorney Thomas Velardi could not be reached for comment.
I would say the Stafford County Attorney needs to be discharged from his office and as soon as legally possible.
Fleming said he takes responsibility for his actions, which could result in 3 1/2 to 7 years in prison if he is convicted.
Mr. Fleming is a brave man, and also one who takes responsibility for his actions, unlike a certain President of the United States now in office. Somehow I doubt this will get to a trial. If a grand jury could be persuaded to indict, there is almost no way a jury would convict.
Fleming said he’s surprised at the reaction of his neighbors, many of who have shaken his hand and thanked him.
“This is something that has struck a chord — nationwide,” Fleming said, noting he’s received a tremendous amount of support from around the area and has been contacted by people as far away as the Midwest and Utah.
You can count me among those people Mr. Fleming. If this DOES go to trial, and I’m selected for the jury, I will not convict.1 Of course, my saying this just got me booted out of the jury pool too.
So what about the criminal? Will he be doing some seriously hard time in prison?
Judge Daniel Cappiello set bail at $10,000, cash only, with the provisions he would be monitored by Strafford County Community Corrections Program, undergo a mental health evaluation and refrain from using drugs, if he is released. Herbert was ordered not to contact or go near Fleming or the other resident of the house he allegedly broke into.
Somehow, I don’t think so.
Now the comments section of the Union Leader are full of people pretty much saying that Mr. Fleming’s arrest is a load of horse hockey. There are a smattering of dummies who think that he should be charged of course, but they are outnumbered by people with common sense. Now if Mr. Fleming had shot at the criminal, then there might be some issues. But, he didn’t. He fired a warning shot in a safe direction.
Now Police generally don’t fire warning shots. There is a reason for this. First, the crimes they are dealing with usually happen in built up areas and they can’t be sure where the bullets might go. Also, most criminals will stop when they see a cop, and police are generally younger and in better shape than Mr. Fleming.
Mr. Fleming was in an open area, he knew his gun and he knew how to fire that pistol so that the bullet wouldn’t endanger anyone, including that idiot criminal. In 2010 the state of New Hampshire turned out the nitwit democrats who had been wrecking the state. They have been overturning a lot of these bad laws, and in several cases, overriding the veto of Governor Lynch. (Who is in his final term. He saw the writing on the wall when his vetos kept getting overridden) I suspect that the law that the County Attorney is using is going to be revisited by the legislature. I also suspect that the county attorney may be looking for work after the next election.
~The Angry Webmaster~
- Anger Central IS based in New Hampshire [↩]