New Hampshire is always bragging about being a “free state
” … apparently not everywhere in that state, especially in Farmington.
A New Hampshire man, Dennis Fleming, 61, was returning home and found his house had been burglarized and later after seeing a man with backpack walking down street, spotted Joseph Hebert, 27, climbing out of his neighbor’s window. He yelled “Freeze!” before firing his handgun into the ground, then held the alleged burglar at gunpoint until police arrived. Instead of thanking the citizen for capturing a criminal, they arrested Fleming (charged with reckless conduct) along with Hebert (charged with two counts of burglary).
And, get this: the police not only confiscated the .38-caliber handgun used to hold the criminal until police arrived, but also confiscated seven rifles from his home collection that was not used in the incident.
County Attorney Tom Velardi told Foster’s Daily Democrat he will review the case and determine if the charge against Fleming is appropriate under the state statutes regarding self-defense and defense of property
Maybe if Fleming hadn’t fired the gun into the ground the police would have looked upon the situation differently. Fleming was released on personal recognizance bail after he was arrested, but must appear in court. If he is found guilty it will be a –
Class B felony punishable by 3-1/2 to 7 years in prison.
I guess the big problem with the police is that he did not perform these actions on his own property, but a neighbor’s. According to Tom Velardi, County Attorney, the charges might be dropped.
The burglar, Hebert, is charged with a felony (two counts of burglary) that is punishable as the same as Fleming’s charges – plus an additional felony charge of possession of controlled narcotics.
I am so sick of laws that treat victims who defend themselves and/or property and get treated like criminals. If the drop the charges, I wonder if they will keep Fleming’s firearms like the Milwaukee Wisconsin police did when a citizen shot robbers? The man stopped a robbery and had a legal concealed carry permit.
So, what we have here is that we are allowed the freedom of the Second Amendment to keep and bear firearms, but are not allowed to use them in the process of stopping or capturing criminals without being charged with a crime?
It seems the Farmington law enforcement was more concerned that Fleming fired his handgun, rather than just holding the criminal at gunpoint.