Friday, May 08, 2009

Wisconsin: Gun scares off teen robbers: "Four teens knocked a 42-year-old Racine man from his bike Friday night. He thought they were going to rob him. The man pulled a Smith and Wesson revolver from his side holster, pointed it at the sky and yelled, “Gun!” The four suspects ran, and the man flagged down a Racine police officer. The incident will perhaps mark the first time a new opinion allowing open carry of firearms is put to the test here, as it conflicts with another state statute that makes it illegal to possess a gun within 1,000 feet of a school, if not on private property. The Racine man involved, who asked not to be named and declined to comment on the alleged robbery attempt when contacted by The Journal Times, was assaulted in the 1100 block of Grand Avenue, which is within 1,000 feet of Walden School, 1012 Center St. Police did not arrest the man. After he was treated for head and wrist injuries at the scene by Racine rescue, officers escorted the man home and returned his gun to him. But that doesn’t mean charges won’t be filed against the man, and police are questioning how such situations should be handled in the future. “It’s difficult with the way the laws are written to carry (a gun) and not get into trouble,” said police spokesman Lt. Jim Dobbs. He said the new open carry ruling will probably prompt more and more people to wear firearms, but in many places in the city, even stepping off their front porch would mean they are breaking the law. Last month, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen sent out a memo saying openly wearing a holstered gun is not illegal. While Wisconsin law states a person cannot legally carry a concealed weapon, it does not address carrying a firearm in plain sight".

Alaska: Gun stops harassment by teens: "A report of a man pointing a gun at some teenagers on bikes at the Sears mall spurred an extensive police response and prompted school district officials to lock the doors at Fairview Elementary School Thursday afternoon. But it turned out the young adults had in fact been harassing the man and that he pulled a weapon from his vehicle for protection, police Lt. Dave Parker said. The two parties split after the incident at about 1:45 p.m., but witnesses followed the man with the gun north on the Seward Highway to 13th Avenue and Gambell Street, where police with guns drawn stopped the man and a passenger. Seeing that activity, the principal of the Fairview school locked the doors, school district spokeswoman Heidi Embley said. It was the only school to take any action and reopened a short time later, she said. After questioning the suspect and other witnesses -- the youths could not be located -- police determined the unnamed man had acted within his rights because he had not pointed the weapon at anyone and had not brandished it in a menacing manner, Parker said."

Louisiana burglar fatally shot: "An armed burglary that ended with a homeowner’s brother fatally shooting a suspect was preceded by a rash of similar crimes in the area, deputies said... About 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, two brothers who live in the 400 block of West Main Street discovered a pair of men — one of whom was armed with a BB gun — who had broken into one of the men’s garage. The homeowner, Chris Derocher, and his brother, Bryan Derocher, live on the same property in separate homes. Bryan Derocher called his sibling that evening when he saw two men walking around the property, deputies said. When Chris Derocher, who was away from home, arrived, he noticed his garage window was damaged and a motion-sensor light inside the garage was turned on, deputies said. Chris Derocher and his brother, who was armed with a handgun, opened the garage door and found the two men inside, deputies said. One of the suspects, Terry Hayes, 34, [above] brandished the BB gun at the men, and Bryan Derocher fired two shots, one of which struck Hayes in the torso. Hayes died at the scene, deputies said. Hidalgo said Hayes’ BB gun was indistinguishable from an actual gun. The other burglary suspect, Charles Mouton, 42, of Thibodaux, was held at gunpoint by Bryan Derocher until deputies arrived. Hayes had previously been arrested for armed robbery, theft, burglary, illegal possession of stolen goods and illegal carrying of a firearm, among other charges, deputies said. Mouton had similar arrest history.

Surprisingly lenient verdict in Mass.: "The Supreme Judicial Court yesterday ruled that illegal gun possession is a ‘passive and victimless crime’ and that those charged with having illicit firearms cannot be held without bail as a danger to society. In a 4-to-1 ruling, the state’s highest court rejected the law enforcement strategy of Bristol District Attorney C. Samuel Sutter to cut down on gun violence by seeking pretrial detention for every person charged with illegal gun possession in his jurisdiction, which includes New Bedford. Writing for the majority, Justice Francis X. Spina said a law known as 58A does not include illegal gun possession on the list of criminal charges that qualify for a dangerousness hearing. The court also rejected Sutter’s argument that a catch-all phrase included in the statute gave him the legal authority to demand dangerousness hearings for dozens of criminal defendants in the past several years.”

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