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New Hampshire man arrested for firing gun into ground while catching suspected burglar

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posted on Feb, 21 2012 @ 01:29 PM

A New Hampshire man who fired his handgun into the ground to scare an alleged burglar he caught crawling out of a neighbor's window is now facing a felony charge -- and the same potential prison sentence as the man he stopped. Dennis Fleming, 61, of Farmington, was arrested for reckless conduct after the Saturday incident at his 19th century farmhouse. The single grandfather had returned home to find that his home had been burglarized and spotted Joseph Hebert, 27, climbing out of a window at a neighbor's home. Fleming said he yelled "Freeze!" before firing his gun into the ground, then held Hebert at gunpoint until police arrived. "I didn't think I could handle this guy physically, so I fired into the ground," Fleming told "He stopped. He knew I was serious. I was angry … and I was worried that this guy was going to come after me."

I'm embarrassed by this. A homeowner protecting his property getting the same sentence as the man attempting to burglarize him is preposterous. I didn't know firing a gun into he ground was illegal in a situation like this. Guess I better read up on state law. Seems to me that the gentleman acted appropriately and if anything showed restraint.


posted on Feb, 21 2012 @ 01:35 PM
So maybe he should've killed the burgler instead?

This judicial system is totally screwed up.
That judge, should thank him for not killing the burgler.
Not sentencing him for what I consider to be private property defense.
There's no way this will hold up in court.

Fleming's collection of seven rifles and a .38-caliber handgun were seized by police. But Fleming said he's not entirely defenseless: "I've got a Louisville Slugger here, but I would call the police," he said.

What the???
So police can just seize property without arrests?
This is getting out of hand...

Good luck America, there's vermin infesting every corner.

edit on 21-2-2012 by havok because: Added an external quote...

posted on Feb, 21 2012 @ 01:36 PM
It does say his neighbors window, not his.

Other then that I am disgusted. This type of legislation makes one think twice about exercising ones right to bear arms. That and the stigma that goes with owning one and God forbid any ammo.

If he is actually charged, I will personally donate to his legal fund for a repeal.

My bad read the article, his house was burglarized as well.
edit on 21-2-2012 by calnorak because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 21 2012 @ 01:37 PM
The sad thing is that I can go outside and fire my gun into my ground for hours and hours and it's not a crime.

I cant imagine a farmhouse in Farmington doesnt have enough acreage to discharge a firearm.

Eventually Ward Bird got his sentence commuted for "brandishing." If the governor wasnt a spineless urbanite appeaser Bird would have been pardoned.

I would expect the same for this fella if it even gets that far.

posted on Feb, 21 2012 @ 01:40 PM
This is what liberals do to society. They make self defense and defense of your neighbors a criminal offense. I wish we could export all of our liberals to Europe.

posted on Feb, 21 2012 @ 01:43 PM
Well, I imagine the problem here is that he's firing a gun (albeit into the ground) towards somebody on another person's property.

I mean, if that guy had accidentally locked himself in the khazi, and could only evacuate himself from the room by climbing out of the window, then why should some neighbour be allowed to recklessly endanger his safety ?

Ignorance of the law is not a valid defence.

posted on Feb, 21 2012 @ 01:43 PM
reply to post by Domo1

So much for Live Free or Die! And this is the problem with this country!

posted on Feb, 21 2012 @ 01:49 PM
reply to post by Domo1

Northern East Coast ,southern West coast,these people and their laws are ridiculous.I worry about looking for a job in these places and sure as hell would never visit.

posted on Feb, 21 2012 @ 01:50 PM
When the people have to think twice about protecting themselves from other people, they will think 3 times when they have to protect themselves from the government.

posted on Feb, 21 2012 @ 01:54 PM
Wow..... New Hampshire sure has some interesting attitudes for being the 'Live Free or Die' state. They seem to be creating one of the worse states for that concept to hear recent stories coming out of that area.

I suppose they looked and looked for someway to nail the guy on defense of property and citizen's arrest but came up dry. Oh..but we can't have a citizen getting away with taking defensive action. Why...Others might do it too. The world may need less cops and prosecutors. Dogs and cats may get along in the streets!! AHHHH!

Oh.,.. nvm. We need not explore such a scary chain of events. Rather than tag him for discharge of a firearm within town/city limits like they've done here a couple times on people...they throw the book at him with about as high a charge as they can manage with the little bit the homeowner actually DID do.

Sounds like the people of New Hampshire need to come learn from the good folks in Missouri and Florida for how to write a Castle Doctrine type law...and how to include immunity from civil penalty with cover for criminal as well, if all was done in good faith defense.

posted on Feb, 21 2012 @ 02:05 PM
reply to post by Wrabbit2000

After Ward Bird they amended the deadly force law to state that brandishing or displaying was not deadly force.

Of course that's all they did.

They didnt go so far as to cover what happened here.

Thats the problem with legislating against liberty. There's always a case when hard law is too rigid to be used fairly.

It's why you should never call the cops for anything. Even if the cops know you did right if there's any chance you may have broken some law they cant look the other way and you're screwed.

The law has no context, no character, no common sense.

A free society should be operating under the presumption of liberty. If no one is getting hurt there is no reasonable reason to expect any law is being broken. Which is why ignorance of the law (laws not operating under the presumption of liberty) is a perfectly reasonable excuse. If Im not causing harm how the hell am I supposed to know it's illegal? Why should any reasonable person believe that an act causing no harm should ever be illegal?

The laws are not written by reasonable people and we dont live in a free society despite the slogans.

posted on Feb, 21 2012 @ 02:39 PM
What about the Jose Guerna case where the cops showed up at the wrong place and fired 60+ times?
Or cases like this one where the cops spray a neighborhood with bullets over a dog that didn't need confronting?

Cops can do it and actually hit homes, cars, etc, over a dog, and not get in any trouble... Yet when Someone shoots the ground, stopping a crime/catching the bad guy, the cops get to act like saviors somehow?

posted on Feb, 21 2012 @ 02:45 PM
reply to post by DarthMuerte

No, thanks. We have enough rubbish politicians here as it is!

posted on Feb, 21 2012 @ 02:47 PM
Beginning to wonder..why exactly do we need police? I mean, it must be great, being able to legally steal someone's property, kidnap them, lock them in know, what they did to this guy.

posted on Feb, 21 2012 @ 03:03 PM

Originally posted by Kyprian
Beginning to wonder..why exactly do we need police? I mean, it must be great, being able to legally steal someone's property, kidnap them, lock them in know, what they did to this guy.

The middle class is the buffer between the poor and the wealthy.

The police or "warrior class" is the buffer between the middle class and the wealthy.

Poor (servants) > middle class (land owners) > warrior class (soldiers) > wealthy (town owners) > oligarchs

When you really think about what they do: arrive after a crime has been committed, distribute revenue generating threats, enforce prohibition legislation, it isnt much in the way of serving or protecting. It's basically harassment and blind allegiance to words that were put on paper out of fear and pandering. The warrior class is the security blanket for the legislators who make laws based on irrational fear of the lower classes.

posted on Feb, 21 2012 @ 05:43 PM
I'm getting sick and tired of this Anti-American, Anti-Freedom POLICE STATE

posted on Feb, 21 2012 @ 06:37 PM
This is why I live in NC... you get caught here breaking into a person'e house by the home owner and you can legally be killed. If the homeowner feels threatened by an intruder or tresspasser into his/her house... they can use deadly force to defend themselves. If a person feels threatened and in fear of their life away from home while in NC, they can defend themselves with deadly force.

Not too long ago, a couple of students were home on holiday in Henderson,NC.... two repeat offenders broke into the house. The older babysitting 17 year old sister screamed for help... the 14 year old teenage brother gets his shot gun and kills one of the intruders and chased off the other. The other intruder was later captured and charged... had a few shotgun game shot pellets in his legs... no charges were filed against the teens at home.

Welcome to North Carolina...

posted on Feb, 21 2012 @ 07:11 PM
This just sends a message to Criminals that they can get away with being a Criminal. There is no protect and serve anymore. New Hampshire has sold out, and it was New England's freedom state.

Live free, but don't try and protect yourself, let them take your things. Buy insurance instead because somebody needs to make money for their trouble of letting you protecting yourself with the law.

You are a criminal as much as a thief, if you try to defend yourself or your property. Absolutely sickening America.

posted on Feb, 21 2012 @ 07:32 PM
If that act can get you arrested for "reckless conduct", then EVERYONE with a desire to instill fear into a wrongdoer to get them to succumb to law should be fined and locked up for 25+ years.

posted on Feb, 21 2012 @ 07:45 PM
I had a pistol instructor tell me the following if I ever had to shoot someone breaking into my house (I live in Ca)

"Because of the ways the laws are, if you shoot someone make sure you kill them, and give serious thought as to killing any witnesses"

HE was joking, but thats pretty much how bad it is, if you don't kill an intruder when you shoot them you will probably end up paying his medical bills and a hefty lawsuit against you.

I wish CA had Castle laws, looking to move to a state that has them some time soon hopefully.

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