No charges for homeowner who pistol-whipped alleged thief, shot gun twice; Humboldt’s last week of news

In the latest episode of Humboldt Last Week: Late last year an elderly homeowner in Eureka allegedly caught a man stealing things in his backyard. So the homeowner took out a gun, headed outside, and repeatedly pistol-whipped the alleged thief bloody. The homeowner’s gun accidentally went off twice and fortunately nobody was hit by a bullet. The thief was then arrested and the homeowner was also cited for assault and discharging the firearm, his gun taken as evidence. After that the case was forwarded to the District Attorney’s office.

“After review of the investigation, I did not file any charges (against the homeowner) and notified (him) of that decision,” said Humboldt County District Attorney Maggie Fleming.

When word got out of this case of course there were different viewpoints in the community. From one perspective there was applause for the homeowner for protecting his property and teaching this alleged thief a lesson. On the other side there was no applause noting the homeowner’s neighbors could have been hit by one of his stray bullets -- that you can shoot a gun to defend your life, but not to defend your property.

When reached for comment, the Eureka Police Department put questions in the hands of Captain Brian Stephens. There was no reply by the release of the podcast but if that changes this post will be updated.

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