A California man whom neighbors praised for scaring off burglars at a neighbor’s house by firing warning shots may face charges for discharging his gun.
It was the middle of the day when the Bakersville man’s dog started barking, prompting him to look out his window, reports local broadcasting network KGET.com. A stranger was carrying a big-screen television out of the house next door in broad daylight.
The good neighbor called 911, according to the Kern County Sheriff’s Department, but law enforcement never arrived. An hour later, the burglar was back to pilfer more possessions. That’s when the man got his handgun and told the burglar to stop. When he didn’t, the man fired several warning shots. The burglar fled with his two accomplices, leaving behind money, a laptop, and other items.
But according to the local district attorney's office, the ending might not be so happy for the man who fired the shots. Attorneys are investigating whether to hit him with charges of negligently discharging a firearm.
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Neighbors say the charges are senseless and applauded the man for protecting a fellow homeowner's house while he was out.
“They would have stripped the house completely of everything that was in there, but that was stopped because of what he did,” said O.J. Droppers, a 15-year resident of the neighborhood.
The DA’s office wouldn’t comment on the case to media but said that the question of self-defense would be crucial in deciding whether it will press charges.
Janet Goff, another neighbor who has lived on the block for more than 40 years, said that law enforcement has no reason to press charges and that the man had done the right thing.
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“I think that a homeowner has the right to protect their home and their property, and the way I understand it, the neighbor across the street was trying to protect his neighbor’s property,” said Goff. “I would want them to do that for me.”