Skip to comments.Man Charged After Firing Warning Shot
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.
The little b*st*rd should have been shot.
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.
Iowa is as bad as Massachusetts.
How do they know he knew that?
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.
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.
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.
He should have filled his @$$ full of bird shot.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
Something is rotten and smells here. Our justice system is being run by a bunch of thugs.
Of course if a cop had fired his weapon after seeing something shiny he’d be in the clear and justified. Defund the bastards.
” 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.
The cops would have riddled the intruder with 50 shots, then claimed that they believed the cigarette in his hand was a gun.
He is one of those terrorist vets on big sis's list?
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.
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 dont 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.
Jensen told police...
There’s his big mistake. Don’t tell the police anything unless your lawyer says ok.
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.”
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.
Used a Starter's Pistol?
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.
If you fire a warning shot, does the castle doctrine apply? Or do you need to shoot at them?
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 .
>”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.
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.
An ideal case for Jury Nullification if it ever comes to trial.
This instance just might pass the Castle doctrine law, and get Batterson fired, a double win for civilization.
Covenants? We don’t need no stinkin covenants!
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.
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.