Archive for November, 2008

North Carolina: Burglar no match for shotgun-toting couple

November 29, 2008

Gaston, North Carolina

From the Gaston Gazette of November 24, 2008

Burglar no match for shotgun-toting couple

A would-be burglar who’d been scared off from one house by a 70-year-old woman found himself a few minutes later staring down the wrong end of a shotgun at another, police say.

And before the sun rose Sunday, Joshuah Scott Rutledge probably figured out that this northern Gaston County town wasn’t ripe for the picking.

“If they think Stanley is sleepy, they’ve got another thing coming,” said 56-year-old Phyllis Osborne, who now calls her 62-year-old husband Richard her “knight in shining armor.”

Rutledge, 26, of Oakboro was reportedly climbing through a bathroom window of a woman’s home on the 3500 block of N.C. 27 in Stanley at 4:30 a.m. Sunday when the woman, who’d had her 70th birthday the week before, spotted him and scared him away before he could get inside.

He then apparently went to a house across the street off N.C. 27 on Watts Street, this time making it inside.

But once inside he found himself staring at Richard Osborne and an old shotgun that his wife’s grandfather had once used to slaughter hogs. Whether the gun would still fire a shot remains in question.

Rutledge had pulled a bedspread down to cover him as he lay in the floor in a guest bedroom, Phyllis Osborne said.

But the couple could see his knuckles poking out.

“We told him, ‘If you don’t come out we’re going to blow your brains out,'” Phyllis Osborne said Monday. “We had to say it three times, but then he jumped up and said, ‘I’m in the wrong house. I’m in the wrong house.'”

At first Rutledge insisted he’d come to the house looking for a friend. Then he said he was there to meet the Osborne’s daughter, whom he claimed to have met on the Internet.

But the Osborne’s only daughter lives in Georgia, married to a law enforcement officer.

“I wasn’t scared, I was mad,” Richard Osborne said. “I was mad because he scared my wife.”

The Osbornes have been married 30-plus years. He has a little trouble hearing, she can hear a squirrel walking across the roof.

When she heard something Sunday morning she knew someone had entered their home. Even after a quick lookaround produced nothing, she said she was sure something wasn’t right.

Richard Osborne then saw the bedspread pulled down from the bed. Phyllis Osborne keeps an impeccable house.

“I’m very particular,” Phyllis Osborne said. “My bed has to be made. Not a wrinkle in it.”

Rutledge answered Mrs. Osborne with “Yes, mam,” and “No, mam,'” she said.

Mr. Osborne had to punch him once and hit him twice with the gun. One strike with the gun came when Rutledge insisted on lighting up a cigarette while waiting on police to arrive, he said.

The Osbornes praised Stanley Police officers for their quick response and follow-up investigation.

Arresting Officer J.L. Springs said Rutledge has not told them what he was doing in the area. He apparently was walking because police have not been able to find a vehicle.

The incident shook the Osbornes up. The first woman who encountered Rutledge that night could not be reached for comment, but Springs said she was doing OK.

Mrs. Osborne said Monday that she still wasn’t ready to go back inside her home unless her husband was with her.

But she also said she was ready to forgive. She’s repeated to herself a common phrase from her pastor, Bishop Robert Gittens, at Revival Tabernacle Church.

‘”Love heals and hatred destroys,'” she said, quoting her pastor.

As of Monday night, Rutledge remained in Gaston County Jail under $100,000 bond facing two charges of first-degree burglary.


Mississippi: Burglary suspect dead, shot by business owner

November 28, 2008

Corinth, Mississippi

From the Daily Journal of November 27, 2008

Burglary suspect dead, shot by business owner

The suspect in a Tuesday break-in at a Corinth business has died from a gunshot wound inflicted by the business owner, police say.

James Thomas Parson, 25, of North Parkway, Corinth, was pronounced dead at Magnolia Regional Health Center on Tuesday, said Corinth Police Chief David Lancaster.

The police department received an emergency call about 3:30 a.m. Tuesday through 911 to go to the scene of a burglary in progress at The Jewelry Box, 706 S. Tate St., Corinth, the chief said.

Responding officers found Parson lying on the floor inside the business with a gunshot wound to the stomach and called emergency services, which transported him to the hospital.

Lancaster said the business owner reported he heard a noise at the front of the store and took his handgun when he went to check it out.

When he saw a man coming through a window, he ordered the intruder to stop, but he did not. Instead, the suspect came inside the business, reached up and ripped down the video surveillance equipment.

The owner said he again told the suspect to stay where he was or get out, but the suspect charged toward him and he fired one shot, which struck the intruder in the abdomen, Lancaster said.

The case remains under investigation, but no charges have been filed.

North Carolina: Burglars Get Into Gunfight With Business Owner

November 26, 2008

Charlotte, North Carolina

From WSOC of November 17, 2008

Burglars Get Into Gunfight With Business Owner

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police searched for two men Monday morning who broke into a business and got into a gunfight with its owner.

Police said the men broke into Big Rob’s Sports Bar on Nevin Road in north Charlotte around 3 a.m. Monday. The burglars tripped the burglar alarm, which alerted police and the bar’s owner.

The owner went to the bar and saw the men loading electronics into the back of a truck. When the burglars saw the owner, one burglar shot at him. The owner shot back and the burglars got away.

The owner was not hurt. Police did not release a description of the burglars.

Florida: Coral Springs Man Shot In Groin During Robbery Attempt

November 26, 2008

Miami, Florida

From NBC6 of November 17, 2008

Coral Springs Man Shot In Groin During Robbery Attempt

A Coral Springs man is recovering after being shot in the groin by a man demanding his wallet, police said.

Mark David Braun was confronted outside his home before dawn Monday, NBC 6 reported.

Braun said he went out for a pack of cigarettes, and as he was coming back home a stranger approached him with a gun and asked for his wallet.

He pushed the would-be robber’s gun away, and then the robber saw Braun’s gun and ran, but not before firing one shot, Braun said.

Braun was airlifted to North Broward Medical Center. His wife, who was home with their 3-year-old son, saw the shooter run away and get into a car.

Braun was released from the hospital a few hours after being shot.

Police are still searching for the shooter.

South Carolina: Intruder shot while entering house

November 26, 2008

Green Pond, South Carolina

From the Post and Courier of November 26, 2008

Intruder shot while entering house

A man who was at home when someone tried to break into his residence on Monday apparently shot the burglar as he was coming through a bedroom window, authorities said.

Colleton County deputies arrived about 9:30 a.m. at the home on Turkey Hill Lane and learned that the homeowner had fired his gun at someone coming in the window but found no suspects on the property. They later got a call from a woman nearby who said her 15-year-old grandson had been shot, Sheriff George Malone said.

The boy was taken to Colleton County Regional Medical Center, treated and taken to jail, Malone said. He and a 16-year-old boy and an adult were all charged with second-degree burglary, the sheriff said.

Malone identified the adult as as Larry Speaks, 20, of Green Pond.

Florida: Father Shoots Neighbor’s Pit Bull

November 26, 2008

Lantana, Florida

From CBS12 of November 21, 2008

Father Shoots Neighbor’s Pit Bull

A local father shot and killed a neighbor’s pit bull. The dog was loose and had followed a child into the dad’s home.

Law enforcement says no one will face charges because of the incident– not the father for shooting the dog in front of children, nor the pit bull’s owner for letting the dog get out.

It happened in a quiet neighborhood west of Lantana, the dog shot in the driveway of the home of J.R. Martin. Martin declined comment.

But here’s what the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office and Animal Control say happened. At least two girls were meeting at the Martin home for a ride to school. The pit bull followed one girl into the house and bit Martin’s beagle. Martin first tried to scare away the pit bull with a BB gun, but the dog returned, reportedly growling at the children. Martin took out his .9 mm gun and shot the pit bull. The dog then ran down the street and died.

The shooting upset neighbor Ofelia Cravens. Prior to the shooting, Cravens said her daughter found the dog wandering down the street. Cravens said the pit bull was large, but friendly. Cravens said she and her daughter went up and down the street trying to find out who owned the dog. Cravens even put the dog in her garage for awhile.

“The next thing you hear is a shot,” said Cravens. “And that was it. I’m very upset, because I could see if he was vicious dog. But he wasn’t.”

Cravens added, “I like J.R. And I respect him. But I sure as heck didn’t know he had a gun.”

Another neighbor tells CBS 12, there had to be a reason for Martin to take such an action.

Animal Control says the pit bull belonged to Fernando and Anna Flores, who live on another street. We were unable to reach the couple.

Illinois: Attempted Robbery Ends With Shooting

November 26, 2008

Rockford, Illinois

From WREX of November 19, 2008

Attempted Robbery Ends With Shooting

A 22-year-old man is under arrest after a morning shooting that started as an armed robbery attempt.

Police say C.L. Phillips got into 29-year-old Antwonne Hudson’s car on Searles Avenue, pointed a gun at him, and tried to rob him. Phillips drove the car to Sablewood Drive where there was an altercation, he got his hands on the gun, and shot Phillips in the foot.

Phillips was treated and released at Rockford Memorial Hospital. He is now charged with Unlawful Use of Weapons by Felon and Armed Robbery.

Vermont: North Hero Burglary Suspect Arrested

November 26, 2008

Burlington, Vermont

From WCAX of November 25, 2008

North Hero Burglary Suspect Arrested

Police say they’ve arrested the burglar who was shot at by a homeowner Monday in North Hero. It turns out the suspect is a career burglar who is well-known to the police and he has even been interviewed by Channel 3 News several times.

Now Eric Edson, 37, is back behind bars facing new burglary charges. And the police say he made catching him all too easy.

“Through follow-up investigation we learned that he was residing in the Burlington area,” said Sgt. Kirk Cooper, of the Vt. State Police.

Police say Edson was arrested sitting outside his mother-in-law’s apartment in Burlington. The arrest came less than 20 hours after police say Edson broke into two homes in North Hero for burglaries. But he made a big mistake in the second house when the homeowner caught him red-handed.

“The homeowner went to his residence, had a handgun, entered his residence, and confronted a male subject that was in his residence, and the homeowner fired two rounds from his handgun as the subject fled the area,” Cooper said.

Police say Edson escaped uninjured and stole a truck to make his getaway. That triggered a massive manhunt Monday night in Grand Isle. Edson made it easy for the police to figure out who the burglar was because he drove to the homes in his own Blazer and he left it behind.

“Which was good for us,” Cooper said. “That was a good clue.”

Police say the homeowner who shot at Edson identified him from a photo lineup. And his picture had been in many lineups in the last two decades. He has more than three dozen felony convictions for burglaries and thefts, which have kept him behind bars for most of his adult life. He has been interviewed on Channel 3 several times for his views on prison life, including one month ago, when we did a report about rapes in prison. Edson denied that rapes were being committed in Vermont prisons.

“You’re more protected in there than out here. I could leave here today and get shot. The chances of me going to the chow hall and getting shot or stabbed is zero,” Edson said.


Mississippi: Man shot trying to steal SUV

November 26, 2008

Jackson, Mississippi

From the Clarion Ledger of November 24, 2008

Man shot trying to steal SUV

Jackson police said the property owner who fatally shot a burglary suspect Saturday night had a right to pull the trigger under the Castle Doctrine.

Brandon Lenard, 20, of Jackson was shot outside a row of townhouses on County Cork Road after he allegedly broke into a Cadillac Escalade parked in front, police said.

Police spokesman Lt. Jeffery Scott said no charges will be filed against the owner of the SUV, whose name was not released.

When the police investigation is complete, the findings will be turned over to a Hinds County grand jury, Scott said.

Lenard is the fifth burglary or robbery suspect to be shot to death in Jackson by a homeowner, property owner or store employee since the Castle Doctrine law took effect in 2006.

Among other things, the Castle Doctrine says a person has “no duty to retreat” if the person believes he is in imminent danger. The law protects someone who uses deadly force in self-defense from being sued.

Just before 9 p.m. Saturday, Lenard allegedly broke into the Escalade while its owner was inside a townhouse just a few feet away, police said.

“The owner heard something outside, so he stepped out of the house to see what it was. When he saw someone was in his vehicle, he went back inside to retrieve a weapon. He then went back outside to confront the suspect,” Scott said.

Scott said there was an exchange of words between Lenard and the vehicle’s owner just before Lenard tried to run from the scene.

Police said that as Lenard was leaving, he is believed to have put the SUV owner’s life in danger. Scott would not say what he did.

“Our investigation has determined that the owner was in the imminent threat of danger based on items found at the scene, which I cannot elaborate (on),” Scott said. “We have made a determination that the actions of the property owner are in the parameters of the Castle Doctrine.”

Hinds County Coroner Sharon Grisham-Stewart said Sunday that Lenard did have a gun at the scene.

Lenard was shot once with a shotgun, Grisham-Stewart said. She said the pellets entered the back and side of his head.

Scott said investigators think Lenard was driven to the scene in an unidentified vehicle. Police are trying to find who might have been with Lenard that night.

Neighbors would not comment Sunday about the shooting.


Kansas: Son Shoots Ex-Stepdad To Protect Her, Mom Says

November 26, 2008

Leavenworth, Kansas

From KCTV5 of November 21, 2008

Son Shoots Ex-Stepdad To Protect Her, Mom Says

A teen took aim with a gun, his mother said, but it was the shooting victim who was in trouble with the law Friday night.

The teenager’s mother, who was caught in the middle, said her son pulled the trigger and shot her ex-husband to save her.

She agreed to talk anonymously to help other women who may be stuck in a domestic violence situation.

The woman’s 16-year-old son shot her ex-husband Friday morning on the front lawn of their Leavenworth home, but she said he did it to protect her.

“He started ranting and raving, and I told him he needed to leave and go home, and he got mad,” the woman said.

The woman said her ex-husband had been abusive many times before, so she divorced him two years ago.

But at 2:30 a.m., he suddenly barged into her home. She said he pulled out a knife and dragged her into the front yard, and that was when she said her son grabbed a gun from the house and pulled the trigger, hitting his ex-stepfather in the stomach.

“He’s a very quiet kid, and he’s not the type to do anything like that, but he had had enough,” she said.

Her wounded ex-husband jumped into his truck. Instead of heading to either of the two hospitals in Leavenworth, he drove himself all the way to Kansas City, Kan., to Providence Medical Center, where police said he lied about what happened.

“He indicated that he had been shot somewhere else besides Leavenworth,” said Chief Pat Kitchens, of the Leavenworth Police Department.

The mother said she was glad her ex-husband survived so her son wouldn’t have to deal with that burden for the rest of his life. And she is focused on helping her son and daughter heal from such a traumatic ordeal.

“My kids have been through a lot, you know? They’re going through counseling and that’s something that’s very highly recommended because when you’ve got family violence, it’s not easy, especially on the kids,” she said.

Police said the teen was not arrested. He will likely not face any charges because what he did was in self-defense to protect himself and his mother.

In the meantime, the ex-husband is recovering in the hospital. From there, he will be moved to the jail to face possible charges of burglary, kidnapping and assault.