Cleveland, OH – An Ohio man shot a burglar attempting to break into his home on the final day of 2012. The gun owner also used his weapon to thwart another home invasion attempt in November. The would-be robber was killed by the Cleveland homeowner.
The man identified as “Mike” allegedly bought six homes on the block to remodel but was ultimately plagued by violence, which has infiltrated into the Portage Avenue neighborhood.
During an interview with WKYC News, neighbor Ben Blair had this to say about the current crime climate in the area:
“Everybody has this problem with people breaking into these abandoned houses.”
The Cleveland man was reportedly inside the home when David Fletcher, 43, allegedly tried to get into the home in November. Fletcher was reportedly wielding a knife and was killed by the homeowner. In December, the Ohio gun owner was confronted by a burglar who tried to hit him with a lamp, according to police report excerpts. The man identified as “Mike” shot the alleged intruder both in the arm and cheek and held him at gunpoint until law enforcement officers arrived.
Attorney Michael Nelson had this to say about Ohio’s Castle Law, which protects homeowners who use force to protect themselves:
“It’s designed to protect homeowners from being sued for defending themselves with deadly force against people who come into their house or their car. Reasonable belief immunizes them from any court liability and gives them the right to use deadly force to protect themselves.”
One Portage Avenue neighbor interviewed shook his head and wondered about two break-ins in such a short period of time. A similar increase in home burglaries has occurred in nearby Elyria. The community experienced 50 such crimes in just a seven weeks during the final quarter of 2012, according to Cleveland.com.
Police Lt. Andy Eichenlaub had this to say about crime and the citizen response:
“Police share their frustration. It’s hard to understand the sense of violation people feel when someone breaks into their home and steals their possessions. Now, people committing these crimes must recognize just how dangerous it is. Residents are becoming more vigilant. Neighbors are watching out, on guard for suspicious people.”
Ohio does not currently have a “Stand Your Ground” law. Do you think laws which allow citizens to protect both themselves and their property increase public safety?