Sunday, July 04, 2010

Meanwhile, In Spartanburg, South Carolina...

...73-year-old Ken Easler discovered a burglar in his house and held him at gunpoint until the police came to take him away:

You don't tug on Superman's cape; you don't spit into the wind. You don't pull the mask off that old Lone Ranger, and you don't mess around with ... Ken.

That's the lesson an intruder learned Saturday when 73-year-old Ken Easler surprised the unwanted visitor. Easler had just returned to the rural home he owns with his wife, Dot, on Jones Road near Converse around 11 a.m. Saturday.

When Easler walked through his unlocked front door, he heard someone upstairs and knew it wasn't Dot, whom he had just left at the Hub City Farmers Market, where she was selling fresh produce from the couple's farm.

Easler immediately went for his 9mm Ruger P85 handgun, loaded a round into it and went to the stairwell near the front door, where Easler said the intruder was sneaking down until he saw the gun.

"When I jacked that round in the chamber, he sat down and was holding onto the rail," Easler said. "I know he was scared.

"I told him, You do anything sudden, you're liable to end up dead.' "

Douglas Michael Nickerson, 24, of 1530 Old Pacolet Road, Spartanburg, was arrested on the scene and charged with second-degree burglary, non-violent, and petit larceny, value less than $2,000. He remained in jail Sunday night in lieu of $7,500 bond.

Easler said he's glad he wasn't forced to shoot Nickerson, but he hopes his actions will lead to a conviction that will keep Nickerson off the streets. It is the 11th arrest for Nickerson in the past two and a half years, with charges ranging from criminal domestic violence to trespassing to drug possession, according to online jail records. Nickerson also was charged with second-degree burglary - in addition to driving under suspension and reckless driving - in November.

"This ain't the first time he's come inside somebody's house," Easler said. "If they don't send this guy to jail, the next guy may not be as tough as I am, and he could hurt somebody."

Sheriff Chuck Wright said Sunday night that while he was not familiar with the case, he was proud of Easler when told what Easler had done.

"That's why we have (guns), to protect ourselves with," Wright said. "I don't have any issues with what that gentleman did. I think he did a good job. ... That's the reason why good, honest citizens have a right to bear arms."

It all started like any typical Saturday, with Dot Easler arriving at the farmers' market around 7 a.m. and Ken working on the farm, which sits on the couple's 13-acre property, just down the hill from where Ken grew up. Ken Easler left the home around 9:30 or so to deliver an order of 10 dozen ears of corn to the market.

After returning to gather two baskets of green tomatoes, Easler went inside the home to get a drink when he made the unpleasant discovery.

"Thank God (Nickerson) wasn't armed," Dot Easler said. "If he had been armed, I think Ken would have shot him."

Her husband said Nickerson, as he was sneaking down the stairs and saw Easler with the gun, told him, "Don't shoot me; I just had to go to the bathroom."

"If he had been bigger and more intimidating," Easler said, "I probably would have shot him on the stairs, but I stayed calm and didn't get nervous or anything."

Click the link to read the rest. This man did everything perfectly, everything a law-abiding citizen should do when confronted by a criminal.

And yet, there are those of our fellow citizens who would have all law-abiding citizens disarmed, such as Mayor Daley in Chicago. Or the government of UK, where burglars and robbers can now enter one's house with total impunity.

Sorry, gun-haters. I'll never agree with that particular philosophy.

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