A New Hampshire man is facing prison time because he fired a warning shot at a burglar that he not only caught, but held at gunpoint until police could arrive.
From this story on CBS news:
A man who caught a suspected burglar in his neighborhood over the weekend now faces criminal charges himself. It all started Saturday afternoon, when police were called to two homes on Ten Rod Road because someone had broken into them. Officers found 61-year-old Dennis Fleming holding off the suspect with a handgun. Fleming’s home was one of the two that were robbed.
Twenty-seven-year-old Joseph Hebert was arrested and charged with two counts of burglary. But it didn’t end there. Police later found out that Fleming had been looking for Hebert for about half-an-hour after the robbery. No one was hurt, but that was enough for police to charge Fleming with reckless conduct for firing his gun in a residential area.
But the story doesn’t quite end there. Fleming’s case has caused a groundswell of support from self-defense advocates across the country:
A New Hampshire man charged with a crime for capturing the man who robbed his home is getting support from around the globeDennis Fleming’s story has been retold all over the country and it was even picked up overseas by the London Daily Mail. The pressure is building on authorities to drop the charge. “I don’t want to be a poster child for gun advocacy or anything like that,” says Fleming. “It’s not what I’m looking for.” Dennis Fleming may not want to be the poster child, but, gun advocates from all over the county have rallied to his defense. He’s surprised by the support he’s gotten ever since he tracked down a burglar and fired a warning shot.”I know it’s touched a nerve with a lot of people. I have people come up at Walmart, and say ‘you did great I saw you on TV’, ‘I saw you in the paper’.”
Those same people are leaning on Tom Velardi, the Strafford County attorney. He’s still trying to decide whether to prosecute Fleming. Velardi says, “I’m trying to look at what the law says we should be doing, apply some common sense to what the law says we should be doing, and come up with a solution that I think will protect people in Mr. Fleming’s situation as well as the community at large.” At issue is whether Fleming acted to defend his community or if he put people at risk. The group Gun Owners of New Hampshire is taking donations for his legal defense. “Mr. Fleming was simply doing a responsible thing,” says Penny Dean of GONH. “He was holding a person he believed to be a burglar for the police and he’s been punished for that.”_