CNN’s playing this one for laughs. “This time it was the intruder who called 911. A man who broke into a house in Portland, Oregon, called police — afraid the homeowner may have a gun. The suspect, Timothy James Chapek, was in the bathroom taking a shower when the homeowner returned to the house Monday night, Portland police said in a statement. Accompanied by two German shepherds, the homeowner asked Chapek what he was doing in the house. Chapek locked himself in the bathroom and made an emergency call, police said. He said he had broken into the house, the owner had come home, and that he was concerned the owner might have a gun.” “The world’s dimmest criminal,” one of the commentators remarks. Yes, well, the story actually offers some important lessons for self-defense . . .
1. If someone’s in your house when you return, don’t go in the house. If you walk in and hear something indicating you’ve got uninvited visitors, leave. Big ass German shepherds or no, clearing a house makes big wave surfing look like a sensible way to spend an afternoon. There’s a reason why cops NEVER do it alone. Something about multiple threats, minimal cover, maximum concealment. You pay the cops’ salaries. Let them do it.
2. Call 911 at your earliest opportunity during any self-defense situation. Believe it or not, there are places in the world where a home invader could successfully sue an armed home owner for threatening them with a gun (and the dogs). What happens AFTER a self-defense scenario may hinge on that 911 call; it establishes you as the victim. In the legal sense, you WANT to be the victim. And don’t let anyone else call for you, if at all possible.
3. Be wary that cops may not know the good guys from the bad guys. They burst into a house, see a naked man cowering in front of a guy with a gun, who do YOU think they’re going to take down? (Note: two growling German shepherds are not going to help the cops’ powers of investigation.) Always be aware that the police are a serious threat to your life. not their fault, but there it is.
If at all possible, if it is safe to do so, put down your weapon just before the po-po make the scene. Don’t make any sudden moves. At all. Clarify the situation ASAP. Follow their every command without complaint of hesitation. And resist the urge to say more than you have to.
4. Remember: there are crazies out there. And not just in Portland. Dogs are good. But concealed carry is always your best bet for goal line self-defense. Home carry people.