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.