It was before dawn on Sunday morning , 27 November, 2016, in Fountain, Colorado. Mark Plaskett was wakened by his garage door opening. It was 5 a.m. He grabbed his pistol and a flashlight and responded.
Three strange cars were parked in the quiet, residential neighborhood. Plaskett believes that he had forgotten to lock his van. That is likely how they accessed his garage door opener.
As Plaskett entered the street with flashlight and pistol, one of the cars immediately took off. Plaskett attempted to capture people in the second car, but both the second and third cars took off. People in one car fired a couple of shots at Plaskett. From krdo.com:
"I saw the cars, I came out to the street with the flashlight on the first car and he took off. Then I ran across to the next car across the street and they didn't even know I was there at their window with a gun in their face," Plaskett said.He jumped into his vehicle, and manged to corner one of the cars in a cul de sack. He was able to capture the driver and hold the 16 year old for police.
Three cars that were parked outside all fled the scene."I heard them shoot a couple of rounds in my direction so I hopped in my car with my gun and took off after them," Plaskett said.
Police say a juvenile gang has been operating in this manner for over a year.
They have been breaking into and stealing cars.
It is likely that Plaskett will have provided the break needed to put an end to the depredations of this group of young criminals.
Mark never had to fire a shot. He showed admirable restraint in the use of deadly force.
Many will say that Mark should never have gotten involved. They will say that he should have left the job to the "professionals".
But consider the situation. The "professionals" had been on the job for over a year. The criminals had not been caught. The modus operandi was to victimize several car owners in one nights operation. It is likely that their victims, over a year, numbered over a hundred. There were 56 as of November 25th, last year.
We do not know how many future crimes Mark has prevented. It could be a large number. Given our lenient treatment of juvenile criminals, it could be few.
Citizens are the first line of defense. Armed citizens have a good chance of capturing criminals. The people involved showed themselves to be dangerous criminals. They attempted to murder Mark.
You may not wish to take the risks Mark did, but his actions benefited the rest of society a significant amount. He should be applauded and encouraged.
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.
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