Burglar Shot By Homeowner Is Now Suing For Damages: Indiana Crook Says 'I'm Lucky To Be Alive'

A burglar shot by the homeowner whose house he was breaking into is now suing the homeowner, the Indianapolis Star is reporting.

On April 21, 2014, David Bailey, now 31, broke into a garage in Dunkirk, Indiana. At least, that's what he admitted in court and pleaded guilty to, although he now claims that he did no such thing (more on that later).

Burglar shot by homeowner
Burglar David Bailey [Image via Dunkirk Police Department]

Homeowner David McLaughlin, now 33, admitted that when he heard the burglar alarm going off in his garage, he grabbed a weapon -- a .45 pistol, according to the Daily Beast -- and ran outside. There, he says, he saw the burglar fleeing down an alley and fired off three shots.

burglar shot by homeowner
Homeowner David McLaughlin. [Image courtesy of Dunkirk Police Department]

One of those shots struck the fleeing burglar in the arm, causing "serious and permanent damage," according to the lawsuit. Another shot narrowly missed Bailey's head.

Bailey, the burglar, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three years of electronic detention.

The homeowner, McLaughlin, was also held criminally liable for his actions that night; he was charged with criminal negligence for shooting at the fleeing suspect.

In a Facebook post before his trial, McLaughlin claimed that his actions that night were in the right.

"Been waiting since May 22nd to prove I did nothing wrong and my day to do so is almost here. Thanks to everyone in the community for your continued support and prayers for me and my family. Thank you and God bless."

In September 2014, a jury found McLauglin guilty of criminal recklessness and sentenced him to 60 days in jail followed by four months of home detention.

Bailey, even though he pleaded guilty to burglary and served time for his crimes, insists in his lawsuit that he is the victim in this case. He's suing the homeowner who shot him for "all damages" -- well over $100,000.

"My medical bills and my pain and suffering. [McLaughlin] didn't get s**t out of it for shooting somebody."

The father of two says that it's impossible for him to work or do much else with his left arm, making it hard for him to support his kids.

"I can't lift nothing. I can't make a fist. I can't do nothing with it. I got a crow's feet for hands; my fingers are like curling up."

Bailey also claims that he was never in McLaughlin's garage and was simply minding his own business, walking down the alley that night with a friend, whom he declined to identify. He says the unnamed friend actually broke into McLaughlin's garage.

"I was going to that guy's house to get some fishing poles and we were gonna go fishing and then this guy decided to do that dumb s**t. He walked in [the garage] and I kept on walking down the alley. He didn't say a word—he just walked up there. I told him 'Come on!' and he went in instead."

McLaughlin's attorney, Brian Pierce, says that Bailey is simply using his injuries for "financial gain."

"This is a last-minute Hail Mary. He swore under oath last summer in his criminal case that he did in fact enter the garage... So he's either lying then or he's lying now but my belief is he's lying now for financial gain."

McLaughlin, for his part, seems to have moved on with his life following the incident with Bailey. Even though he was convicted and served time, he was able to get back his old job at the Post Office, where he continues to work to this day.

Do you believe this burglar shot by a homeowner deserves compensation for what happened to him?

[Image via Shutterstock/Andrey Burmakin]