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Man Charged After Firing Warning Shot
KCCI ^ | 8/3/11

Posted on 08/04/2011 1:19:51 PM PDT by LibWhacker

MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa -- A Marshalltown homeowner faces felony charges after shooting at a trespasser Sunday afternoon.

Officials said the trespasser has been charged with a misdemeanor.

Clayton Jensen told officials he had just come home from running an errand when he looked out his back window and saw a man in his backyard. Jensen said he was concerned for his family's safety.

"He was kind of heightened alert because one of his family members had seen someone outside the house at night and then they took off when they were confronted," said Brian Batterson, Marshalltown assistant police chief.

Several homeowners said they're concerned about what's happening in their neighborhood.

A neighbor told KCCI that someone had entered a house nearby recently while the resident was sleeping and stole some items.

But Marshalltown police said that doesn't justify Jensen's decision to fire a gun.

Police said 18-year-old Abelardo Gonzalez didn't deny looking under a tarp where Jensen was storing bikes and a lawn mower. He told officers he was on his way home and just cutting through Jensen's fenced-in backyard.

"Mr. Jensen was OK to follow this gentleman and confront this gentleman, but once he fired a weapon he crossed the line," said Batterson.

Jensen told police he followed Gonzalez and fired a warning shot at the ground near a tree when Gonzalez turned and made a gesture he took as a threat.

"He was armed. He knew Mr. Gonzalez was unarmed. He should have just left the scene if he felt he was threatened and waited for police to arrive," said Batterson.

Neighbors have mixed feelings about Jensen's actions and the fact he's now facing a felony charge, while Gonzalez is charged with a simple misdemeanor.

"When I came out I seen him pointing the gun at his head," said Ken Picard. "He should have called the cops and leave the officials to do the work."

"I think the emphasis should be on the individual who was on the private property, disturbing his property," said Fred Meyer.

Gonzalez was not injured in the incident. Jensen told police he never intended to harm or shoot Gonzalez.

Jensen recently moved his family to Marshalltown after retiring from the Army.


TOPICS: News/Current Events; US: Iowa
KEYWORDS: banglist; charged; firing; shot; warning

1 posted on 08/04/2011 1:19:54 PM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: LibWhacker
Police said 18-year-old Abelardo Gonzalez didn't deny looking under a tarp where Jensen was storing bikes and a lawn mower. He told officers he was on his way home and just cutting through Jensen's fenced-in backyard.

The little b*st*rd should have been shot.

2 posted on 08/04/2011 1:24:52 PM PDT by Sarajevo (Is it true that cannibals don't eat clowns because they taste funny?)
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To: LibWhacker
He knew Mr. Gonzalez was unarmed

Really? Just how was the homeowner supposed to know that? How was the homeowner supposed to know this tresspasser wasn't about to attack him hand to hand? Of course, in today's upside down mentality, it's alway the homeowner who's at fault.

3 posted on 08/04/2011 1:25:11 PM PDT by bgill
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To: LibWhacker

Good God!

Iowa is as bad as Massachusetts.


4 posted on 08/04/2011 1:25:14 PM PDT by stephenjohnbanker (God, family, country, mom, apple pie, the girl next door and a Ford F250 to pull my boat.)
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To: LibWhacker
"He was armed. He knew Mr. Gonzalez was unarmed."

How do they know he knew that?

5 posted on 08/04/2011 1:25:33 PM PDT by Pearls Before Swine
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To: LibWhacker

Warning shots? Never intended to harm or shoot him?

If you draw a firearm, it should be with every intention of causing maximum bodily harm to the person who is a direct threat to you and your loved ones. If it was serious enough to warrant a shot, it was serious enough to aim and fire that shot into a target that makes sense - the ground isn’t threatening you and yours, that man is, or so the claim goes.

That said, a felony charge? I’d not say it’d warrant at all enabling the state to abridge his constitutional rights. It was a dumb cowboy move, but not a felony.


6 posted on 08/04/2011 1:26:58 PM PDT by kingu (Everything starts with slashing the size and scope of the federal government.)
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To: Pearls Before Swine

Cuz he was just doing a burglary recon. He’d come back to steal the stuff later.

Forward to night time...

Hunting over bait comes to mind, for some reason.


7 posted on 08/04/2011 1:27:49 PM PDT by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
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To: LibWhacker

This is ridiculous! Taking a shortcut through a fenced-in back yard? The homeowner “knew the offender wasn’t armed”? Break-ins and late night disturbances in the neighborhood?

What the heck is wrong with those people (not the homeowner!)? I forget what state that was, but don’t they have a castle doctrine?

If it had been me, I’d have shot the perp.


8 posted on 08/04/2011 1:27:49 PM PDT by Stoutcat (I aim to misbehave)
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To: Pearls Before Swine

Exactly!


9 posted on 08/04/2011 1:29:07 PM PDT by Stoutcat (I aim to misbehave)
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To: LibWhacker

He should have filled his @$$ full of bird shot.


10 posted on 08/04/2011 1:30:12 PM PDT by True Grit
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To: LibWhacker

Unless they have a law about discharging a weapon, what can they charge him with?

I wouldn’t worry about doing the same in my yard. I can discharge my weapons in my yard all I want to, and have.

We did have the cops come one time when my friend was showing me an activator he had for his AR15. Someone called the cops saying they heard automatic weapons fire. The sheriff was friendly, examined the device which is perfectly legal, and left us to continue shooting.


11 posted on 08/04/2011 1:31:19 PM PDT by faucetman (Just the facts ma'am, just the facts)
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To: LibWhacker
The trespasser was pretty brasen and probably was up to no good. However, I can understand restrictions on shooting trespassers. I had an astronomy professor (cool guy, apolitical class) tell of the time he was shot at when he was out stargazing and thought he was on public land. I sympathize with people who own large patches of land and trying to protect their property and livelyhood if they have farm crops. Problem is, some ignorant city slicker might not notice an old “no trespass” sign accidentally buried under foliage and probably doesn't deserve to be shot.
12 posted on 08/04/2011 1:34:36 PM PDT by nerdwithagun (I'd rather go gun to gun then knife to knife.)
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To: LibWhacker
Jensen told police he never intended to harm or shoot Gonzalez.

Oops!

13 posted on 08/04/2011 1:35:11 PM PDT by MileHi ( "It's coming down to patriots vs the politicians." - ovrtaxt)
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To: LibWhacker
He should have just left the scene if he felt he was threatened and waited for police to arrive," said Batterson.

Left the scene as in leaving HIS property. The police are just minutes away when seconds count. Just another LEO that needs to be removed. With prejudice.

14 posted on 08/04/2011 1:37:41 PM PDT by Drill Thrawl (0 - 537 They ALL must go.)
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To: LibWhacker

Hey thanks for the tip Mr. Policeman! Next time I’ll know! Since I’ll be facing a felony either way. I’ll just go ahead and unload a round into the trespassers back and skip the warning shot.


15 posted on 08/04/2011 1:38:44 PM PDT by apillar
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To: kingu

I don’t agree. There are times when you should not shoot a person but should have your gun ready to do so if the situation requires.

I don’t even disagree with the guy firing a warning shot tho a lot of gun instructors say to not do so.


16 posted on 08/04/2011 1:40:03 PM PDT by yarddog
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To: nerdwithagun
"I sympathize with people who own large patches of land and trying to protect their property and livelyhood if they have farm crops."

But not just regular ol' property owners, huh?

How was the property owner to know if the man, who violated his fenced property, was not a threat? How was he to know if the trespasser was armed? A guy was casing the joint for a later burglary (or worse) in a neighborhood that has seen a recent surge in such activity and he is charged with a misdemeanor, yet the property owner who defended his property, without using lethal force, is facing a felony? A felony? Really?

17 posted on 08/04/2011 1:44:03 PM PDT by ronnyquest (I spent 20 years in the Army fighting the enemies of freedom only to see fascism elected at home.)
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To: ronnyquest

I bet Iowa is not a “True Man” or “Castle Doctrine” state.

It is hard to believe but many, maybe most states require you to retreat from thugs rather than confront them. Until fairly recently Florida was such a state.


18 posted on 08/04/2011 1:46:40 PM PDT by yarddog
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To: LibWhacker
Another example of the loss of freedom we are experiencing. A safe warning shot was warranted. I regret that I forgot this 4th of July of buying some of those illegal firecrackers. At least the penalty might be less if I faked a gunshot.
19 posted on 08/04/2011 1:47:01 PM PDT by Logical me
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To: LibWhacker

Something is rotten and smells here. Our justice system is being run by a bunch of thugs.


20 posted on 08/04/2011 1:47:54 PM PDT by freekitty (Give me back my conservative vote; then find me a real conservative to vote for)
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To: LibWhacker

Of course if a cop had fired his weapon after seeing something shiny he’d be in the clear and justified. Defund the bastards.


21 posted on 08/04/2011 1:54:09 PM PDT by rednesss (fascism is the union,marriage,merger or fusion of corporate economic power with governmental power)
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To: LibWhacker
Should have just shot him dead because he feared for his life.
22 posted on 08/04/2011 1:57:30 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Palin is coming, and the Tea Party is coming with her.)
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To: ronnyquest

” the property owner who defended his property, without using lethal force, is facing a felony?”

And the loss of his rights to own a gun.


23 posted on 08/04/2011 2:06:26 PM PDT by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ( Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end!)
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To: rednesss

The cops would have riddled the intruder with 50 shots, then claimed that they believed the cigarette in his hand was a gun.


24 posted on 08/04/2011 2:09:17 PM PDT by hellbender
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To: LibWhacker
Jensen recently moved his family to Marshalltown after retiring from the Army.

He is one of those terrorist vets on big sis's list?

25 posted on 08/04/2011 2:14:33 PM PDT by TYVets (Pure-Gas.org ..... ethanol free gasoline by state and city)
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To: LibWhacker

In my subdivision, firing a firearm is verbotten per the HOA covenants. Precisely, that is “outside”.....so I’ll just have to wait just a wee bit and shoot the bastard with alternating OO and some other special rounds from my 930SPX.


26 posted on 08/04/2011 2:17:11 PM PDT by Gaffer
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To: yarddog
I don’t agree. There are times when you should not shoot a person but should have your gun ready to do so if the situation requires.

I understand what you're saying, and you're right, having the gun out and ready is a prudent option. However, what he did was draw and fire, and my point was if there was cause to discharge a firearm, then there should have been an actual threat and firing a round into the ground would do no good.

I don’t even disagree with the guy firing a warning shot tho a lot of gun instructors say to not do so.

This is exactly why they say not to do so. A person lawfully defending their property is now facing a felony charge, and possibly the loss of his right to carry firearms, vote, and hold many jobs, all because he chose to shoot the ground. If you face a threatening situation and choose to fire a gun, it should be at the threat.

27 posted on 08/04/2011 2:21:16 PM PDT by kingu (Everything starts with slashing the size and scope of the federal government.)
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To: LibWhacker

Jensen told police...

There’s his big mistake. Don’t tell the police anything unless your lawyer says ok.


28 posted on 08/04/2011 2:25:57 PM PDT by DManA
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To: DManA

My lips are pre-programmed to say to the LEO: “I was in fear for my life, and I’m just too upset to talk about it right now.”


29 posted on 08/04/2011 2:37:47 PM PDT by Cyber Liberty (Oh, well, any excuse to buy a new gun is good enough for me.)
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To: faucetman

Same thing on our 25 acres.

But we’ve shot a few thousand rounds full auto (M16 and MP5) testing sighting devices. Funny how no cops came to look...
OK, the MP5 was suppressed, which probably explains their absence.

Neighbors came over to join the fun, though.


30 posted on 08/04/2011 2:39:28 PM PDT by benewton
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To: LibWhacker
What if he fired a blank?

Used a Starter's Pistol?

31 posted on 08/04/2011 2:40:02 PM PDT by Paladin2
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To: LibWhacker

That’s one of the biggest steaming piles I’ve seen all week. Those folks need to get that fascist assistant police chief voted out of their lives pronto.

A trespasser who is obviously casing the place and looking under tarps while lying about “just passing through” gets a misdemeanor, and the VICTIM landowner gets a felony for firing a gun on his own property in the United States of America? And he should have waited for the police to handle it?

Yeah, and when seconds count, the 911 responders are minutes away.

Steaming pile.


32 posted on 08/04/2011 2:47:59 PM PDT by TheOldLady (FReepmail me to get ON or OFF the ZOT LIGHTNING ping list.)
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Boop the Kittehs!

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Ha Ha Ha! Of Course!


Become a New Monthly Donor and End FReepathons Forever

33 posted on 08/04/2011 2:48:25 PM PDT by TheOldLady (FReepmail me to get ON or OFF the ZOT LIGHTNING ping list.)
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To: LibWhacker

If you fire a warning shot, does the castle doctrine apply? Or do you need to shoot at them?


34 posted on 08/04/2011 3:05:22 PM PDT by Brilliant
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To: LibWhacker

Of course, Aldebardo Gonzales was undoubtedly just in his back yard to...a...help clean up. Cut the grass. Trim the bushes. YEAH...that’s the ticket.

Another excellent lesson. This illegal will be back, in somebodies yard and steal, rape, rob or kill sooner or later. So you kill him and plant a knife on him. Or preferably a gas can and matches. Deadly force can be used if an intruder is “armed” to commit arson!


35 posted on 08/04/2011 3:08:53 PM PDT by Oldpuppymax
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To: LibWhacker

Bad part about this is once the thug gets his misdemeanor slap on the wrist, he and his thug friends are free to come back and wreck whatever havoc they choose on the now disarmed homeowner and his family!


36 posted on 08/04/2011 3:23:30 PM PDT by AZHSer
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To: Stoutcat
In Texas, the homeowner would have been berated for missing...........

8:}

37 posted on 08/04/2011 3:30:57 PM PDT by AwesomePossum (I have never looked this forward to a November II........)
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To: LibWhacker
He should have called the cops and leave the officials to do the work

Baaaaaaaaa

38 posted on 08/04/2011 3:38:51 PM PDT by tomkat (1775)
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To: ronnyquest
No, no, no. There was an “and” between people with large pieces of land and people who grow crops. I sympathize with anybody who has trespassers, large property owners are the ones more likely to have them.

In this specific case, NO the property owner should not be charged with a felony and probably not for any crime at all and the prosecutors involved are going to anwer to God. However I can't completely agree with his actions either.

39 posted on 08/04/2011 4:26:31 PM PDT by nerdwithagun (I'd rather go gun to gun then knife to knife.)
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To: LibWhacker

In Iowa law, you can not fire to defend property.

The Castle doctrine law is on the slate for next year, and this might just ruin it.


40 posted on 08/04/2011 6:59:50 PM PDT by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: LibWhacker
“He should have just left the scene if he felt he was threatened and waited for police to arrive,” said Batterson

WHAT! Go inside and hide!,call the police and wait for help? What has this nation come to? We are a strong people who can take care of ourselves! People like Mr. Batterson can kiss my @ss. All Real Americans need to stand up an face evil when they see it. Mr. Batterson and people like him make me sick.

41 posted on 08/05/2011 6:16:27 AM PDT by 2001convSVT (Going Galt as fast as I can.)
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To: faucetman

It’s called assault with a deadly weapon . The home owner should have should have proned the guy out on the ground & called 911 on cell phone & stated that he had a guy who was trying to break into his house at gun point on the ground & hadn’t searched him .


42 posted on 08/05/2011 9:54:01 AM PDT by Nebr FAL owner (.308 reach out & thump someone .50 cal.Browning Machine gun reach out & crush someone)
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To: Pearls Before Swine

>”He was armed. He knew Mr. Gonzalez was unarmed.”
>How do they know he knew that?

Funny, the attitude the cops nationwide have when they confront lowly citizens is that they are armed. And Lord help you if you give them a look or make a movement they don’t like as has been proven lately. Plus when they kill unarmed citizens they get fully investigated, then fully whitewashed.


43 posted on 08/06/2011 7:51:55 AM PDT by Blackhawk45 (The 2nd Amendment - the only ccw you need!!.)
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To: Drill Thrawl

Agree. Batterson is a stupid cop and should be fired immediately before an innocent homeowner ends up dead at the hands of an “unarmed trespasser”.

These are the kind of cops who are more of a danger to the citizen than the criminal because the protect the criminal and abuse their powers of arrest of the victim.

PS: My son is a federal police officer. He is trained to deal with a perp. The average citizen is not. But he will shoot, and is authorized to shoot, if there is a “clear and present” threat. Otherwise, as his team has done, they take down the crazies with some good tackling and a few punches to disarm/disable.


44 posted on 01/30/2012 6:51:15 PM PST by MadMax, the Grinning Reaper
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To: LibWhacker

An ideal case for Jury Nullification if it ever comes to trial.


45 posted on 01/30/2012 6:52:09 PM PST by Timocrat (Ingnorantia non excusat)
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To: redgolum

This instance just might pass the Castle doctrine law, and get Batterson fired, a double win for civilization.


46 posted on 01/30/2012 6:53:51 PM PST by MadMax, the Grinning Reaper
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To: Gaffer

Covenants? We don’t need no stinkin covenants!


47 posted on 01/30/2012 7:01:27 PM PST by meatloaf
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To: kingu
You are absolutely correct, either you fire with the expectation that great bodily harm or death may result or you do not fire at all. I'm surprised and a little appalled that some people still believe that a warning shot is a valid option.

People really need to think before grabbing a gun and mindlessly rushing outside their home to confront someone. The most important thing is to protect the lives of your family and yourself. Next is to protect yourself from criminal and civil liability. The least important is protecting property; it can be replaced, but your life and freedom cannot.

If this had happened to me I would have been filming the trespasser with my camera in one hand and my cell phone in the other. If he grabbed a bike ($70 at Walmart?) and took off with it, I'd have a nice record of him and his crime to give to the police. When the legal system (there is no justice system in this country anymore) gets done chewing on this guy I wonder if he'll think it was worth it. I doubt it.

48 posted on 01/30/2012 7:20:13 PM PST by LiveFree99
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To: yarddog

South Carolina does not require you to back away if threatened, not even if someone threatens you in the middle of a Wal-Mart! You have the right to defend yourself WHERE YOU STAND when threatened by another.


49 posted on 01/30/2012 7:34:13 PM PST by RipSawyer
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