“I didn’t think I could handle this guy physically, so I fired into the ground,” Fleming told FoxNews.com. “He stopped. He knew I was serious. I was angry … and I was worried that this guy was going to come after me.” That’s how Dennis Fleming describes what got him arrested after finding his home had been burglarized. Grabbing a gun, he went outside only to see Joseph Hebert climbing out his neighbor’s window. And that’s when . . .
Fleming, a 61-year-old grandfather decided he need to announce his presence with authority and put one in the dirt.
“I didn’t know it was illegal [to fire into the ground], but I had to make that guy realize I was serious,” Fleming said. “I’ve got a clean record. I really don’t want to be convicted.”
Fleming held Hebert at gunpoint until the police arrived. Hebert was arrested for burglary and drug possession. And Fleming was taken downtown (or what passes for downtown in Farmington, NH) on a felony reckless conduct charge. They also confiscated his seven rifles and a .38 revolver.
“This homeowner fired at the ground, from all accounts, in a safe direction and held a burglar for police and did things correctly,” [Gun Owners of New Hampshire spokeswoman Penny] Dean told FoxNews.com. “The fact that this man would be charged is an outrage. Burglars in New Hampshire must know it’s open season, since homeowners cannot defend themselves, as evidenced by this case. This is charging the victim.”
We’re willing to wager a box of Hornady .38 JHPs that upon further review, County Attorney Tom Velardi will find a misdemeanor charge that Fleming will be able to plead to as a way to make this thing go away. We certainly hope so. But let this be a lesson to you kids out there. Keep your powder dry unless you’re threatened. And let your attorney talk to the media. Or not.