Skip to comments.Airman who shot burglar: 'Him or me'
Posted on 03/27/2003 5:29:29 AM PST by kattracks
A U.S. airman who gunned down an armed burglar breaking into his mother's Queens home said yesterday he had to open fire because "it was him or me."
Manuel Falquez, 22, who was charged with having an illegal handgun after the shooting, also said he would rather be serving his country in Iraq than making court appearances in Queens.
"I prefer to be over there. You never know, they may need an extra body," Falquez said yesterday in Queens Supreme Court. He noted, though, that his squadron is still at McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey.
On Feb. 18, Falquez shot and killed a burglar wielding a .38-caliber gun and a knife who was breaking into the airman's mother's home in Corona. Police said there were rumors in the neighborhood that Grecia Gutirerres was keeping $100,000 in lottery winnings inside her apartment.
Falquez, who was not charged with any wrongdoing for shooting the burglar, was scheduled to be formally arraigned yesterday on the weapons charge. But the proceeding was postponed until May 2.
"It was basically self-defense. The way I feel, it was him or me," said Falquez in his first public comments on the shooting. "I feel that I have done what I had to do. If I didn't shoot him, I would not be here right now."
His lawyer said Falquez "should be considered a hero. He was protecting his family. He is serving in the Air Force, and for the two years he has served he has never had a problem. He is an outstanding young man," said the attorney, Damien Brown.
Falquez and Brown would not discuss the 9-mm. gun that the airman used. Brown also denied that Falquez's mother kept large sums of cash in her house.
"There is nothing in the house worth breaking in for. There is no money," said Brown.
A law enforcement source said it was highly unlikely that Queens District Attorney Richard Brown would demand jail time.
On his way out of the court in Kew Gardens, and without being asked, the airman also said that his "heart went out to Mr. [Ronald] Dixon and his family. I know what he is going through, and I feel for him."
Dixon, a Brooklyn man who shot an intruder in his home, is similarly charged with using an illegal handgun. Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes has insisted that Dixon do some jail time.
Hynes offered a plea deal that would have allowed Dixon to spend four weekends in jail. Dixon rejected that offer, saying he has to work every day to pay his mortgage and support his family. He faces 90 days in jail if convicted of attempted weapons possession, the charge lodged against him.
Jail time, the idiots, they ought to give hem a medal! Queens District Attorney Richard Brown, didn't ralize that Brown is a french name, but must be, only someone french could so stupid as to charge a guy with anything for protecting his family and the police, for had he not wasted the slug, the police would have one day had to face him.
We need to eamil this frenchman Brown and tell him to stop thinking like a frenchman and start acting and thinking like an American.
After we're done with Iraq, maybe we ought to ship the troops to New York City so they can bring freedom and liberty there!
New York sucks as far as handgun laws are concerned. You need permits just to own one (forget carrying it anywhere) and there is a law that says even if you have a carry permit, if you are in the city limits, you must have a trigger lock installed (that makes it a useless club).
Translation: This weasel DA knows that public opinion would roast him alive if he prosecutes one of Uncle Sam's fighting men for the "crime" of defending his mother's home, and is hoping to wait until the heat is off.
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