Memphis, Tennessee

From Memphis’ of July 27, 2007

Senior Citizen Fights Back Against Burglar

Eyewitness News Everywhere uncovers a 79 year-old man who took crime-fighting into his own hands.

Just after 4:00 a.m. on Thursday, July 26, 2007, a burglar tried to break into Arthur Thornton’s home at 332 Essex in South Memphis. Thornton is legally blind and lives alone. The guy tried to get in through the front window. He even cut out the screen. But little did he know, Mr. Thornton was waiting for him behind the door with his rifle.

He said, “I’d do it again if it happened tonight, and I would hope I wouldn’t miss. I would like to be around to tell the story like I am today, cause it’s going to be me or you.”

Thornton said he was in bed when he heard a noise up in the front room, “I heard this zip, zip and I thought what kind of noise is that, but I found he was cutting the screen with a knife.”

Thornton grabbed his gun and got into position. He said, “I said he’ll break through there and I’ll hit him across the head with this rifle, and split his head. I have the evil spirit when somebody trying to do something to me.”

But the man never came through the window. Thornton said, “So I opened the wood door and peeped out. He was at the door, and I said get away from my window. When he started across the driveway I shot down towards his feet. When he got out to the sidewalk I shot again.”

He missed, but as you heard him say, Mr. Thornton has absolutely no regrets about pulling the trigger. He said at 4 am, there is no question, it’s him or me.

He said, “If a person comes up to your house at 4 in the morning and attempt to come in a window, he’s prepared to do whatever he has to do to cover up his dirt, so it’s best that you take care of him before he take care of you. I don’t think nobody’s coming to pay a visit to you at 4 o’clock in the morning, nope, that’s not a friendly visit.”

Police did respond to Thornton’s house. Unfortunately, because of his poor vision, he wasn’t able to get a very good look at the burglar.


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