On a remote property on Perdiz Canyon Road, off of Highway 165 in New Mexico, a 59-year-old homeowner says that he woke up to find an intruder in his home. The house is out of sight of the gate, down a long, dirt track that serves as a driveway. The intruder is said to have sprayed the homeowner's dog with pepper spray, then used a gun after the homeowner woke up. From koat.com:
"(The intruder) fired a shot that went just wide of my client's hip," Cravens said.Sticks, batons, and any long, relatively hard object can be used very effectively as an improvised weapon. Police have stopped using durable flashlights as impact weapons because so many suspects were being killed or severely injured. It is well worth the while to learn some simple stick fighting techniques to defend yourself. Sticks can be carried almost anywhere without suspicion or special permits. Whether the homeowner had any training or simply used instinct and got lucky is unknown from the published account.
Cravens said his client used his cane to knock the gun out of the intruder's hand. According to authorities, the homeowner fired a fatal shot from that gun.
New Mexico does not have a specific "Castle Doctrine", but there is no duty to retreat from a deadly threat in the State. If the action occurred as the homeowner claims, it is highly unlikely that he will be prosecuted.
The police are investigating the story. The suspected intruder had to travel up the long driveway on foot, bypassing a gate at the base of the driveway. The police are researching a blue SUV found parked near the driveway.
The homeowner's attorney says that the homeowner is a pacifist.
There is a bit of mystery to the story. Most burglars will not explore an unknown dirt track behind a gate, on foot, to find out if there is anything worth stealing. The burglar came prepared with pepper spray and a gun. I am sure that they authorities will do the usual investigation to determine if the burglar and the homeowner have any connections.
It is not unknown for family members or acquaintances to steal from people that they know, or for professional burglars to develop a string of informants, be they house keepers, plumbers, yard workers, or utility people, who tell them information about places where there is property worth stealing, for a price or a cut of the proceeds.
That the pacifist homeowner was known to have eschewed violence might have been a factor in the decision to victimize this particular residence. The homeowner was not murdered outright, suggesting that the intruder did not expect any resistance. But that is not uncommon. Criminals are notorious optimists, believing that they will not be caught, they will not catch a bullet, that they will escape without injury.
In reality, stealing is a very risky business, even from a pacifist.
Some pacifists will defend themselves when attacked in their own home.
©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included. Link to Gun Watch
Updated 19 September, 2015