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Just before dawn on Sunday morning in Fountain, Colorado, Mark Plaskett was awoken by his garage door opening. He grabbed his pistol and a flashlight and responded. Three strange cars were parked in the quiet, residential neighborhood. Mr. Plaskett believes that he had forgotten to lock his van. That is likely how they accessed his garage door opener. From

“I saw the cars, I came out to the street with the flashlight on the first car and he took off. Then I ran across to the next car across the street and they didn’t even know I was there at their window with a gun in their face,” Plaskett said.

Three cars that were parked outside all fled the scene.”I heard them shoot a couple of rounds in my direction so I hopped in my car with my gun and took off after them,” Plaskett said.

Mr. Plaskett jumped into his vehicle, and manged to corner one of the cars in a cul-de-sac. He was able to capture the driver and hold the 16-year-old for police.

Police say a juvenile gang had been operating in this manner for over a year, breaking into and stealing cars. It’s likely that Mr. Plaskett will have provided the break needed to put an end to the depredations of this group of young criminals.

Mr. Plaskett never had to fire a shot. He showed admirable restraint in the use of deadly force; the people attempted to murder the home owner. Many will say that he should never have gotten involved. He should have left the job to the professionals. But consider the situation . . .

The professionals had been on the job for over a year and the criminals hadn’t been caught. Their modus operandi: victimize several car owners in one night’s operation. It’s likely that the gang’s victims, over the course of a year, numbered over a hundred. There were 56 as of November 25th, last year.

We do not know how many future crimes Mr. Plaskett has prevented. But we do know that citizens are the first line of defense. Armed citizens have a good chance of capturing criminals.  You may not wish to take the risks Mark did, but his actions benefited the rest of society a significant amount. He should be applauded and encouraged.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included. Gun Watch

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  1. Kudos to him! Hate to say ‘what if’, but if things had gone bad after Mr Plaskett had jumped in his car and cornered one of the perps, would he have been in legal hot water?

    Just the other day I decided to remove the garage door opener from our car that’s parked on the driveway figuring that it would be an easy way for someone to get into the house.

    Also shows the importance of having a flashlight to hand!

    • You don’t need the garage door opener to get in that door. All you need is a long piece of heavy wire to slide in, hook and pull that emergency release and then lift the door. People need to add a good dead bolt to the door between their house and garage. Most builders just put a cheap snap lock there and they are easily opened with a plastic card. With a dead bolt they may get in your garage, but they will not get in your home.

  2. Hell yea neighbor! Im a county over from him, this is the first ive heard of it. My brother in law lives in fountain, might help him sleep a bit better.

  3. Everyone here knows what risk this guy took. Everyone here knows that dialing 911 in this situation would have likely just tally’d another victimization.

    Thank you Mr. Plaskett.

  4. Calling 911 should have been his first reaction.
    Then he could have taken the actions he did.
    Shooting at fleeing perps (even if they are shooting at you) is a dicey proposition, legally. Especially if you are chasing them.
    But, whatever. Your first action (given the time) should be the call to 911.

    • Having just gone round with 911 trying to get EMS, you have to remember they will attempt to insist that you stay on the line with them while they ask all manner of idiotic questions. Tell them your address, the problem (burglars!) that you are present and armed, and hang up.

      • Those “idiotic” questions are asked for very specific reasons. The operators need to get a complete picture of the situation to convey to the first responders. They ask you to repeat yourself to eliminate mistakes, and get you help exactly where you need it. I suggest you talk to your local 911 center. Sit with them for an evening to get a grasp of what their job entails. It is very high stress and zero respect.

        • All very well, but……

          If I was in the middle of an attack (home invasion, barricaded in my shooting position), 911 will have to work with N/R/SR. They have the address. I will not be answering their callback.

  5. Here in Europe he would be blamed as a “Sheriff” and incarcerated (at least in Italy) for kidnapping.
    We are not allowed any kind of self defense, because you never know which kind of judge will decide about your case, and a very big amount of them don’t care if it was self defense. They (LEOs often too) just don’t want citizen to help themselves.
    This place is rotting………

    • Then your people need to become accustomed to shooting the perp a few times, police your brass if necessary, and then denying everything.

      • Arent those the principals that the mafia was developed around? Trust, consistancy, common sense (those qualities being absent in whatever governing body happened to be in power that month)? It want till later that they became corupt criminals.

      • Actually a good friend of mine, who happens to be a Carabiniere (military police) told me that if I ever had to defend myself at home, I’d have to try do it without a gun. A bat, stick, brick, whatever would be good. After working the perp to pulp, bang my had against the doorjamb and get to the hospital for treatment.
        They would normally not kill themselves to prove I was acting.
        But if I happened to be perfectly ok, that would certainly mean lots of trouble.

  6. If there had been a gunfight after he cornered one of the cars, in a liberal city like Charlotte, NC he would have been charged. The minute they took off, he was supposed to be done and not chase them since he was no longer threatened.

    I guess where you live makes a BIG difference.

    In Texas, no problem.

    Just sayin’

    • Colorado statute on Ctizens Arrest is vague, I think intentionally. In most of the state (outside Denver and Boulder counties) a prosecuting attornet will decline to proffer charges in cases such as that.

      Side note – a convicted (ex) gang banger, now reformer, used an illegally owned, illegally concealed handgun to defend himself from a gang banger bent on harm. The jury found him not guilty of state charges, and the Feds never charged him at all for the gun.

  7. I’m curious… If Mr. Plaskett had a non-violent “mental health” problem at some point, or a decades old non-violent conviction record making him a “prohibited person,” … what then? He would not have had a gun “legally” and could not have done anything but watch helplessly. Even if the thieves had entered his home.

    Lots of people want to be able to defend themselves, but deny that right to those designated “prohibited,” regardless of their natural equal right to self defense. They are supposed to just die quietly?

    And, of course, the insanity is completely over the waterfall in places where self defense is an “offense” and prohibited to start with, let alone with a “weapon.”

  8. Hasn’t anyone noticed the guy in the photo is black? Surely that means this post is somehow racist, doesn’t it? Doesn’t it??

    • Not if the perpe-traitors (sic) were black, come to think of it, doesn’t matter what race; he, being black (or muslim), can’t appear in crime statistics (it might spoil the narrative, UNLESS he is a CONSERVATIVE WHO OWNS A MEANS OF SELF-DEFENSE!)
      Anyway, Mark Plaskett – Well Done!

    • The “downtown” area of Fountain seems to be predominantly black. I went down there to pick up a motorcycle last April and that was one thing that stood out coming down from Northwest Denver.

      • How long you been in the Northside? When I was younger, Northside was 75% hispanic, (meaning 37.5% beautiful, dark eyed, fiery tempered and proud females.)

        Guess where I hung out?

  9. On this subject, DO NOT leave your car unlocked in your garage when the door is open. Thieves will steal the garage remote and come back when you aren’t home.
    Also DO NOT leave your garage remote in view in your car (most folks clip it on the sunshade), Thieves cruise mall and movie theater parking lots, see the remote, bust your window and take it. But they ALSO take your car registration from your UNLOCKED glove compartment. Hence, they go to your house and have it cleaned out before you’re back to your car.
    ‘Tis the season t get ripped off, folks. Be alert !

  10. Tearing off into the night in hot pursuit, in a rolling gun fight, not calling tbe cops even as backup? What’s next, grandstanding for the media in some lame, limelight-seeking “Charlie’s Angels” type pose? Oh. Guess so.

    Moron could easily have gotten himself, his neighbors, and anyone else on the road killed, all because he failed to lock his car door and wants to play cops and robbers in the middle of the night?

    • They shot at him! Can’t blame the guy for taking action. Some people don’t fool around and he obviously is one of them. I’m not second guessing the guy on this one. It’s his place, there were scum-bags in his neighborhood, he dealt with it. Good for him. Highly doubtful they’ll come back there again as opposed to everyone cowering to the criminals.

  11. Those thieving bastards are probably back on the street already. Mr. Plaskett, you did a good thing, but it’s all for naught if the so-called “Criminal Justice System” continues to be a system with a lot of criminals and very little justice.

  12. I know one thing, although I have a single car garage, I own four cars. The main car I drive sits in the driveway and NEVER has the garage door opener in it. That’s a dumb thing to do to leave your opener in the car outside. I have had my garage door open for no apparent reason (none that I could identify) and that is unsettling. I promptly changed the codes on the transmitter and receiver and it never happened again. Tell you what, when that door opened, my gun was in my hand.
    The guy is lucky as things could have gone sideways in a hurry. Bullets flying in the neighborhood is never good.

  13. Fountain is a bit sketchy, and the Colorado Springs area is developing a fairly serious gang problem. But the area is pretty conservative, and well armed.

  14. I don’t get this. Given all the discussions over the years (and discussions with CCW people) I thought deadly force could only be used when someone was in “imminent” danger. The “hero” left his home, crossed the street, and confronted people with a deadly weapon. If he could do all that, where/what was the “imminent” threat?

    • No doubt he leaves himself in a precarious position. There are certainly jurisdictions that would likely charge him with something and others that wouldn’t.

      We had a case here a few years ago where a dirt-bag was stealing a guys work vehicle from the driveway. He was driving down the road with the stolen vehicle where the owner stepped into the street and made a one in a million shot through the back window and pegged the guy in the back of the head. Well, he’s rather dead as one can imagine. Since defending your vehicle from being driven away isn’t justifiable under Washington State laws, the prosecution charged him. He claimed self defense saying the guy made a pointing gesture (having a gun) as he drove away. Everyone thought it was an open and shut case and the guy was burnt. However, the good citizens of the Spokane jury didn’t see it that way and acquitted him of all charges and the state had to pay the costs of his defense, which is what happens if you are found not guilty and you put on a self-defense claim.
      Just Google “Gerlach Spokane” and it will bring up plenty of stories about it.

      • Well, MLee, that is just freaking wonderful! I was going to suggest that all these stupid laws are one thing, but would your neighbors put you in prison for that kind of crap? Your post answers that question for reasonable examples, but I would advise that anyone charged should be certain that you demand a jury trial. I don’t trust judges. And the prosecution having to pay defense’s costs is just brilliant!

        • All of the Baltimore cops chose trial by judge, because the judge is sworn to follow the law. A jury can find according to their feels. If the law is on your side, and public opinion is not, you’re better off with a bench trial. If the law is against you, try for a jury. Just ask OJ.

  15. In NY I would be charged with brandishing a firearm if I took that action, at the very least. If they enter my home, that’s another story. I’ll pass on the legal expenses involved with chasing them with gun in hand.

    • From my dictionary:

      “awoken |əˈwōkən|
      past participle of awake.”

      If you’re going to be anal-retentively pedantic, at least be correct. 🙂

  16. I’m guessing Colorado is a state that allows the threat/use of lethal force to protect property? He stated he had a gun pointing at the perp before the kid knew it (and before any bullets flew)/. I’m interested in knowing how this eventually turns out. I love and need my stuff too, but would not want to be in his position regardless of how many “that a boys” he’s racked up.

    • He had been shot at (danger was real, deadly, and imminent.) Colorado law is vague on Citizens Arrest. The DA could have found something to charge him with, but it’s highly, HIGHLY doubtful a jury would have convicted in El Paso county.

    • Deadly force is viable for property protection, and the law specifically states that a vehicle is an extension of your home. He did the right thing not firing any shots, so he’lol be good to go. Fountain is a ratchedy ass town, so any help El Paso County Sheriffs get is appreciated.

  17. My neighbor leaves her remote hanging on the sun shade all the time. Tried to talk her out of it, to no avail. I could easily steal it from her car while she’s shopping, run home with it and clean her out before she gets home.
    Some folks, you just can’t talk any sense to them, all to often they learn the hard way.


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