Friday, December 07, 2007

An Interesting Morning

I had an interesting morning this morning. I say that in a purely sarcastic way as I'd rather it have been the usual mundane workday morning.

At about 0630 I awoke but wasn't quite sure why. It seemed as though I could hear, through the bed, somebody slamming doors or beating on something. Of course my wife was already up and I could see the light from the bathroom. I just assumed (you can see "it" coming, can't you?) that she was in a hurry and POed and just slamming the cabinet doors searching for something. The dog was unconcerned just as she usually is until my wife goes downstairs.

I rolled over on my stomach to try to catch a couple more winks. Then the wife came into the room and turned on the light, picked up something and left. I could hear her go down the stairs and the usual moan from the dutch door to the breakfast room. The dog didn't have time to get up and do her usual shake and whine to be uncrated to go see "Mom" before my wife was back up the stairs "whispering" that somebody was at the back door. Nobody should have been at the back door and the source of the pounding was immediately clear to me. I picked up my handgun and moved downstairs as fast as I could. I had to push back my wife. She didn't do as she should and stay upstairs with the shotgun.

When I got to the backdoor I could see a man standing there and hear him talking to himself. He was talking as though he was talking to somebody in the house but of course he wasn't talking to me. He hadn't seen me yet. As I approached the door my wife grabbed the phone and went into the den. The man started to beat on the door again. I turned on the back porch light which startled him. Then I told him to leave. He said something that I couldn't understand and I again told him to leave. My wife was calling 911 for the first time as I did this. It seemed that he was trying to tell me that we had business and I told him that he was at the wrong house, that we didn't have any business, that I didn't know him and that he should leave now. He seemed to apologize and walked away but instead of going down the walk to the driveway he walked around the other side of the house through yard and garden. I went to look out the window on that side of the house and could hear him talking. I couldn't see anyone and moved to the front of the house.

I then saw that he was standing at the foot of the front steps talking and gesturing. I couldn't quite make out what he was saying but it seemed that he was explaining something. He then left but instead of walking down the walk to the sidewalk cut across the yard and crawled through a short section of rail fence I have at the corner of the property. He then went up the walk towards _______ _________ School. I went to a side window to see if he would continue up the street which it seemed that he did.

I then called 911 to tell them that he had left my property and in which direction he was headed. I gave them a brief description as well. Then two police cars arrived and turned around in the park across the street from the house and went back up the street in the man's direction of travel. Then my wife and I got dressed and my wife got her things together and I walked her out to her vehicle and saw her off. I then went back to the house and took the dog out to do her business. We went back in and I started my breakfast.

The dog then had to go back out. I put her on the leash and we went out the door. She stopped right in the middle of it to alert on somebody in the driveway side of the house. We both immediately went back into the house. I let the dog off the leash and she immediately went to the front door and started barking. The man was back at the front door. I then called 911 again (the third call) and reported that he was back. I gave a more complete description (but got his approximate age wrong I think he looked much younger when I could see his face in full light). I went to the door and turned on the porch lights to mark the house. He tried the door and talking to me and I again told him to leave. He was getting more agitated. This was about 0735 or so and he'd been at this quite a while. he left the porch and went to the back door, pounded on it again and I again told him to leave. He tried to argue with me again but I couldn't really understand what he was saying. I saw him walk over to my next door neighbor's house and I called them to let them know he was there. My neighbor said he'd heard something but hadn't answered the door. I had to hang up because this person was again pounding on my front door.

I went to the front door just as Officer ______________ was approaching him. Officer ___________ ordered him off the porch and started talking to him. I stood in full view in the door (we have a glass door) but didn't interfere or interrupt. Finally I saw that the man wasn't answering the questions put to him and Officer _____ saw me standing there. Because I thought that the man wasn't answering and the officer might be uncomfortable with me where I was I went outside. Officer ________ asked me if I was the homeowner and then asked if I had ordered him off. I said "yes, at least three times." Officer ___________ then told the man that we was under arrest and the man resisted so Officer _________ took him to the ground in the attempt to control him. He then cuffed him and took him to his cruiser telling me to wait for him which I did. I then gave the officer my name. As I was doing that my other next door neighbor came to the house to see what was going on and report that the same fellow had been at his back door and attempted to gain entry.

Observations (not necessarily news to me but it might be to you):

1. As always, you dance with the one what brung you and I had only my usual carry gun (for coyotes and such at Mom's), the Ruger New Vaquero in .45 Colt.
2. The police can never respond as quickly as you'd like them to. Until they arrive you are on your own.
3. The wife was panicky and did not do as she should have done, i.e. putting me between her and the threat and moving back to the safe room before calling 911 and taking other steps. Practice would help this. Still some people can't get over this feeling that simply overwhelms them. Prepare for that as well.
4. At no time did I display or announce that I had a gun. I feel that this could have escalated the situation and/or been threatening to the officer and/or forced me into using it at my disadvantage. By keeping the gun in hand but hidden I retained some measure of control over the situation.
5. I did not come into physical contact with the individual. This was good as when challenged he did become agitated and physical. If I was un-armed he could have been too much for me with my arthritic shoulder.
6. I mis-estimated his age. I thought he was about 40-something but in full light it was clear that he was 30 or younger. I was correct about most other details.

1 - I'm the youngest and only armed person among my neighbors. It is perhaps best for them that he fixated on my house. I think I'm the one who would have most likely survived if this had gone to crap.
2 - I stopped on the way to work for some lunch stuff and my change was $6.66. Does it mean anything? I sure hope not!

The individual has a reputation for public drunkedness and "odd" behavior in his home town but hasn't been prosecuted for more than 2 DUIs.

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