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As fellow TTAG scribe Patrick Brown reports, the NY State police have been busy arresting a homeowner for defending his property. But there’s more to the story emerging than what you might expect. To wit . . .

Here’s the setup: A Long Island homeowner (who happens to be black, but I don’t see what that has to do with it) was home one evening. He was accosted by five men who appeared to be members of a gang. The men taunted the homeowner, verbally threatening him with bodily harm. Said homeowner runs inside his home, tells his wife to call 911, and reappears outside with his trusty AK-47.

The gang members bring in 20 or so reinforcements. They dare him to fire. He fires four rounds into the ground, hoping this will attract the attention of the police. It does. Now this is where the going gets weird, and the weird turn pro.

The po-po acknowledges that there are some 2,000+ members of the “dreaded” LA-based Central American gang known as MS-13 in the area.

For those of you who can’t stomach watching David Caruso dramatically cock his head every five minutes, MS-13, a.k.a. “Mara Salvatrucha” was started by Salvadoran immigrants in the greater Los Angeles area. It’s since spread like a cancer across the globe. MS-13 members are renowned for two things: gang tats and a love of senseless violence.

So you’d forgive any homeowner for jumping to a conclusion (accurate or not) that any group of disaffected youth he might encounter could well be of the “let’s just torture and shoot him on general principles” variety of MS-13 thugs.

I personally think the homeowner exhibited restraint for firing into the ground. (Much more responsible than firing into the air, no?) But the police did not agree. He was arrested and charged with “reckless endangerment.” It’s a D felony, even though he had a permit for his weapon and was in fear of losing his life.

Where the story gets REALLY odd is that the police employ a technology called ShotSpotter that allows them to pinpoint the location of shots fired. From the ShotSpotter website:

ShotSpotter GLS solutions use acoustic sensors deployed over areas from one square mile up to hundreds of linear miles to locate gunfire and other violent threats within seconds. When an impulsive sound is detected within a ShotSpotter GLS coverage area, the system springs into action; accurately locating the incident (within 25 meters) and classifying the impulsive sound as a violent threat or an everyday sound (e.g. car backfire or firecracker). Detailed alert information, including actual audio recording clips, is quickly relayed to dispatch communications centers, command stations, and field-based vehicles. Alert information is geo-referenced and visually displayed by the ShotSpotter PSC user interface.

That’s just a wee bit spooky, dontcha think? What’s next? Minority Report-style arrests in anticipation that you’re about to commit a crime?

At any rate, the homeowner was arrested. He owned the weapon legally. He has no criminal record. Yet. The police left the gang alone. Which is likely as much “path of least resistance” policing as it is anything else. Sigh . . .

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  1. First of all, there are no permits of any kind required for owning long guns on Long Island. They only have to be NYS assault weapon ban-compliant (which is still unfortunate). But if he bought the AK at a local store as reported, it would definitely have been compliant when sold.

    Second: there is still no evidence that this was gang-related in any way. He lives in a crappy area, which is unfortunate (I live about 5 miles away). Nevertheless, by some accounts there was simply a group of men who got into a fight…which happened to be on the edge of this guy's property. The average response time of the Nassau County (not New York State) Police is <5 min, even in Uniondale. There is a distinct possibility that this man overreacted to what may very well have simply been a bunch of guys getting into a fight…to which the appropriate (and effective) response would have been to call the police.

  2. Brad the homeowner was the only one arrested because he's the only one who committed a crime.

    And how does shooting into the ground "show restraint?" It actually pretty much shows the opposite of restraint. "Reckless" in every sense of the word.

    Still not understanding the tactical advantage of the "get the gun and go outside" move. Seems to me the smart things to do would be (a) Lock the door and get his family to a safe location in the house, (b) Arm himself and (c) Call the cops. Had he done those things he'd not be in trouble now and his family would have been safe.

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