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Crazy things happen everywhere, but they seem to happen more often and more crazily in Florida (though, dare I say we’ve all felt a reduction under Gov DeSantis’ leadership?). When you hear of a homeowner waking up to find a naked man trying to grab the resident’s cat (we did the dad joke in the headline; that’s all you get!), your thoughts naturally turn to the Sunshine State. Well, ours do at least.

Color us surprised, then, when we learned that this home invasion and armed response took place in Texas. Texas!

During a break-in, you expect to see a man in dark clothes and maybe a mask searching for your valuables. But the last thing you’d expect to see is a stark naked man traversing your living room. Perhaps, in this particular case, you’d actually hope for the dark clothes and mask?

You also wouldn’t expect to see him on a hunt for your pet cat instead of your TV. But this is just what happened. has the story…

According to the sheriff, at about 5:30 a.m. Wednesday, a homeowner in the 190 Block of CR 4161 contacted the Newton County Dispatch Center and stated that he woke up and found an unidentified naked man inside his house. He described the intruder as a white male that appeared to be young, possibly in his early twenties. The homeowner further advised that the unidentified man tried to steal his cat. The homeowner reported that he fired a shot at the man that grazed his right forearm.

The man ran from the home and headed towards the nearby high school. Deputy Nash who had arrived to the scene saw him, chased him, and took him into custody.

The unidentified man was transported by EMS to a Beaumont hospital for treatment and was released into the custody of Newton County S.O. He’s in the Newton County Jail pending additional charges and arraignment.

Pets are considered property in most states, meaning owners can’t legally use force to protect them. Of course, since this happened in Texas, there’s more leeway for protecting property. Especially livestock, though, again, this wasn’t in Florida so I doubt he was milking his cat to make cheese. Additionally, Castle Doctrine can get touchy based on if the intruder was an imminent physical threat or not.

Do you believe it was legally justified?


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  1. “Do you believe it was legally justified?”

    not enough information. if the intruder was threatening or dangerous, sure. short of that, no.

    now the guy’s is trespassing, and naked, and trying to steal a cat, so a presumption of mental instability or drug-induced irrationality is fully justified, and that can contribute to a perception of threat or danger.

    • rant7,


      Furthermore, the homeowner could argue that the n a k e d home invader was there to rape someone which would absolutely justify using deadly force.

    • They went over this situation in my carry permit class. In my state, they said you can legally shoot someone who has illegally entered your home. You can assume they’re a threat. It doesn’t matter what time it is. It doesn’t matter if they never know you’re there. You aren’t required to confront them or say anything first.

    • Breaking into a house with the intent to commit even a misdemeanor is a felony still in the Peepuls Republic of Kallhyifornicadia. Tjat’s where so many folk go wrong. Those flash mobs are committing a felony even if they only steal a pack of gum. Also conspiring with others to commit a misdemeanor is still a felony. The law at least in there PDRK regards conspiring with others to commit even low grade crimes is serious business. Don’t know how long the will last and certainly with Soros backed DAs, trespassers don’t have to worry about picking up a cat or two when they break into a house and being charged with a felony.

    • I heard the budump-bump-crash! of a rimshot right now.

      Anyways – I considered my cat (when she was alive) family, so draw your own conclusions on what I might do to someone messing with my family, especially inside my home…

  2. In Texas the homeowner is allowed to shoot burglars at night. This was at night. The owner needs more target practice.

    • Well, unlike most other states Texas Penal Code 9.42 does allow for the use of deadly force to stop burglary / theft at night (both of which appear to be implicated here). HOWEVER, it *also* requires a reasonable belief that the property could not be protected / recovered by less than deadly force, OR that use of less than deadly force would have exposed the shooter to risk of death or serious injury.

      So no, Texas law does NOT categorically allow open season on burglars / night thieves, and IMO it’s rather irresponsible to tell people it does.

      We need a lot more info here (such as relative size / proximity of the parties, whether the cat had already gotten away from him, etc.) before assessing whether this was a good shoot or not. I suspect a lot is also going to depend on who the DA is . . . in a rural jurisdiction, the DA may well give you a pat on the back. In Austin, the DA would already have you arrested.

      • What you need is to prove to the average person that your use of force was reasonable.

        1, they’re criminal or they wouldn’t be breaking and entering
        2, they’re in your house. If your house isn’t safe, where are you supposed to retreat to?
        3, they’re fucking naked. what kind of person strips their clothes off before some B&E and catnapping?!? Someone who is mentally unstable or high on drugs.

        I’m sorry, but if a naked man breaks into my house at night and goes after my pets…. I’m going to assume an imminent threat to my person. I’m not going to play Wait And See what the mentally unstable criminal does after he’s finished with the cat. The DA can eat a fat chode.

        • Read the statute (posted below).

          The test is NOT whether an average person thinks the use of force was reasonable — it’s whether (1) there was no other way to protect / recover the property short of the use of deadly force, or (2) use of less than deadly force would expose you to a serious risk of death or serious injury. Like it or not, *that’s* what Texas law is.

          I’m not saying use of deadly force might not have been justified in this situation under TPC 9.42, but from the article we simply don’t have enough information to know. For instance, if the cat had already gotten away and the nutcase was on the other side of the room and moving away, let’s just say the shooter may have a problem.

          But amateur armchair lawyering and postulating that “Texas law allows you to shoot burglars” simply isn’t the law.

        • yeah, I’m pretty sure a drug addled or mentally unstable home invader provides (2) use of less than deadly force would expose you to a serious risk of death or serious injury.

          The condition has been met. It’s not about whether I like it or not. The condition has been met. I don’t need more info.

        • The “significant risk of death or serious injury” is for whether use of less than lethal force **to stop the crime.**

          Thus, if for example the nutcase was on the other side of the room and heading toward the door without taking anything (i.e., the perp is disengaging, and no force at all is required to stop the crime / recover the property), then no, element (3) of the statute is not satisfied.

          Obviously, if the perp in this scenario is moving toward you or has anything in his hands that could be used as a weapon, *then* (3)(B) likely applies.

          As I said at the outset, more info is needed to assess whether or not this is a good shoot.

          But hey, you do you. Just know that if you find yourself in this unfortunate situation, Texas law is what it actually is, not what you want it to be.

  3. Wait, you want an opinion? The yes, it is unfortunate that the intruder was not fatally shot! If you break into someone elses house, YOU have decided that it is worth your life! Legally though, not enough info.

  4. Just put the red laser dot on the intruder, and the cat will do the rest, clawing him to death!
    Cats jump on anything you point a laser at, whether the laser is red or green.

    My first experience with this was trying to boresight my gun at home with a laser boresight.
    My cat kept jumping in front of the muzzle of the gun to try to catch the laser dot!
    I wonder if this would work for hunting lions and tigers — do the big African cats also jump in front of the muzzle of the gun to try to catch the laser dot? That would make aiming super-easy!

      • Mine came from the shelter de-clawed by the previous owner, but I like rant’s solution with the laser…

        • Even de-clawed cats still have a set of wicked teeth. And when cats bite, they don’t nip and release. They hold on.

    • ….and now I want to know if the people at the zoo will let me bring in a laser pointer to see if the lions will chase it.

  5. He was inside the house? Totally justified. Don’t even need to think hard about that one. In Texas, the burglar need not even be inside, just prowling around.

    As for the cat, the cat is indeed livestock. It’s alive, making it livestock. If you run a snake farm, and someone steals one of your snakes, that’s called rustling in Texas. Rustlers used to be summarily hanged in Texas, and much of the rest of the west.

    • See my comment above. **You are dangerously misstating Texas law.**

      Folks, here is Texas Penal Code 9.42:

      A person is justified in using deadly force against another to protect land or tangible, movable property:
      (1) if he would be justified in using force against the other under Section 9.41; and
      (2) when and to the degree he reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary:
      (A) to prevent the other’s imminent commission of arson, burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, theft during the nighttime, or criminal mischief during the nighttime; or
      (B) to prevent the other who is fleeing immediately after committing burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, or theft during the nighttime from escaping with the property; and
      (3) he reasonably believes that:
      (A) the land or property cannot be protected or recovered by any other means; or
      (B) the use of force other than deadly force to protect or recover the land or property would expose the actor or another to a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury.

      Element (3) is the key — you *still* have to have a reasonable belief that there is no way short of deadly force to protect / recover the property, OR that using less than lethal force would expose you to a substantial risk of death or serious injury. It’s not a license to blast away at a burglar / night thief — you still must satisfy element (3).

      • I don’t currently have a cat. So, if someone breaks into my abode then that has shown intent to do me bodily harm. Because the only way he can get into my apartment is to break the door down. I will assume he’s there to do me harm and reply accordingly. Now, if he’s dressed in firefighting clothes, I’ll slow my roll. God bless Texas!

  6. I met a girl in a bar who invited me over for some kinky sex. We went to her house and she went to the bathroom and came out in a leather whips and chain out fit.
    She asked me if I was ready for some kinky sex, I told her ,”Your to late , I’ve already sht in your shoe and fcked your cat.”

    • Jim:
      “If not legally justified, morally justified.”
      You might not want to try floating that proposition as a defense in a court of law.

  7. The man intruded into a house naked to steal a cat and that threat should be good enough to earn him air conditioning. You have to be a bit nuts to go into someone’s home to start with and then top it off with being naked and after a cat. If I was on a jury I would say justified shooting.

  8. I’ve known cats that you wouldn’t want to touch unless you were wearing a leather jacket, gloves and a face mask. Trying to grab a strange cat nude is asking to have your privates slashed to ribbons.

  9. My cat will shred a person who’s wearing leather armor if that person tries to grab him and he doesn’t know them. I can only imagine what he would do to a naked person. I suspect there would be less blood if I just shot the guy.

    • My son rescued a small, puff ball of a black cat from a construction site. He and his wife raised it and had it for its entire life. They named it ‘Damien, the son of Satan’. For good reason.

      Body armor, a pack of rabid pitbulls and something belt fed would not protect you from its wrath if it got pissed. Big. Damn. Cat.

      Great cat until it got pissed. I told my son if I ever saw it get its hackles up I was just going to shoot.

  10. Definitely! If I find someone in my house at 5:30 AM, uninvited, they’re going to get “ventilated”. I’ll worry about being charged later. As they say, I’d rather be tried by 12 than carried by 6.

  11. …naked guy in my home, at night, sans invitation?

    Dunno about everyone else, but that meets the important requirements (and then some).

  12. Ok, here’s the thing: I’m pretty level headed and hard to set off, but mess with my animals, especially my cats, and the emts will have to use a sponge to remove your body.
    Small animals are effectively defenseless and must depend on their humans for protection.

    I will provide.

    • “Defenseless”?

      Every cat I’ve ever had would have served as a home defense weapon — just throw the cat at the intruder and plug my ears.

  13. If the same happened to my lab, and she didn’t tear up the nude guy. He would meet someone very protective of my homes inhabitants.

    There was a joke when I was growing up that stated you could probably be able to talk yourself out of a whipping if you slept with a man’s wife. Touch his dog and you would suffer. A good dog is irreplaceable.

      • Only 75% true. Dogs truly are Man’s Best Friend, but you haven’t met my cat. She asks me for stuff, definitely on a different level than dogs, but asks. She doesn’t command anything of me, we respect one another. God blessed me with one of the best felines in the planet.

        • There are some cats that have very dog like behaviors, such as Burmese.

          But some dogs have very cat like traits being aloof and independent, notably daschunds.

          Currently I have a lab-kelpie cross. Very smart, very loyal, but friendly when I’m around. Try to break in and she will go to full protection mode.

        • “Burmese”

          our burmese was doing something my mom didn’t like, so she smacked him. he looked up at her, looked down at her ankles, and smacked them. she jumped back and he ran forward and did it again. she ran through the house with him chasing her.

  14. If you’ve ever lived with a cat you know they are not property. If anything, you are the cat’s assisted living provider.

  15. Do I believe it was justified? You try to steal or hurt my cat that’s your ass in a sling, no questions asked. That cat is my friend, and no one touches my friends, especially in my house.

  16. I wouldn’t pause to read that criminal’s mind. I wouldn’t presume he broke into my home just to steal some pussy cat. I would be concerned that my children could be attacked. The cat may just be the appetiser.

  17. Burglary, at night automatically elevates it in TX to a forcible felony which justifies the use of deadly force. So justified.

    • See above; that’s NOT Texas law. READ THE STATUTE!

      Burglary or theft at night authorizes use of deadly force under TPC 9.42 ONLY if can also demonstrate you had a reasonable belief that (1) there was no way short of deadly force to protect/recover the property, OR (2) use of less than deadly force to stop the crime would put you at significant risk of death or serious injury.

      Under many circumstances, does TPC 9.42 allow use of deadly force to protect property? Of course; probably more than any other state. But is it a plenary license to do so anytime you encounter a burglar or night thief? No.

      Example: you see someone at night in your carport trying to steal the wheels off your vehicle. Ergo, there is ongoing theft at night and burglary (carport counts as part of the house under Texas law). You turn the lights on and the thief drops his tools, shows his hands, and starts backing away (not moving toward you). Can you still legally shoot him? Under this set of hypothetical facts, no.

      Back to the case in question. Are there plenty of circumstances where deadly force would have been justified under TPC 9.42? Sure, especially if the intruder was moving toward the homeowner. Are there other circumstances where it would not, and thus the shooter may have a problem? Yup — e.g., cat had gotten away (so no need to use any force to protect/recover the property) and perp is heading for the door (so no need to use deadly force to stop the burglary). As I said above, more facts are needed to assess whether this was a good shoot or not.

      But folks, continuing to propagate this urban legend that “Texas law absolutely allows you to shoot burglars / night thieves / etc.” is irresponsible as heck.


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