Another burglar picked the wrong house:
“I’m not Rambo,” said Dennis F. Cherry of Royalton, the homeowner facing the felonies. “If somebody knocked on my door, I’d put gas in their car.”
Cherry, a soft-spoken and polite Army veteran, said he was protecting himself from a home burglary at about 11:20 a.m. Jan. 21, when he fired 15 shots from a military-style assault rifle at the vehicle of a fleeing intruder.
This shooting occurred during the second burglary in three days at his Akron Road home, and Cherry said he believed the two burglars — one was his stepdaughter — had stolen a handgun. He claimed he knew they were on drugs, knew they were coming back and was afraid they were armed.
“I wasn’t trying to kill anyone,” he said in an interview in his Lockport attorney’s office last week. “I didn’t fire at the windshield. I fired at the radiator and the tires.
“I didn’t want to wait two days later and have him come back and beat my head in with a baseball bat,” Cherry added. “When people get into drugs, they don’t care what they do. I wanted to stop him. What if the cops came eight minutes later and the cops had a problem with him? I don’t know. I’ve gone through this in my mind a thousand times.”
But the 63-year-old Cherry, a retired Harrison Radiator employee who served in Vietnam 38 years ago, now faces felony charges of reckless endangerment and criminal mischief for firing 15 shots. Fourteen of the 15 struck the vehicle.
First thing I thought was “Reckless, Hell! I hit just where I was aiming!“
The law in these parts has an asinine opinion of personal defense, a canard generally used by the anti-gun nutters:
Niagara County Sheriff James R. Voutour said state law permits deadly physical force only when there’s a threat of deadly physical force against the person.
“Otherwise, we’d have a Wild Wild West out there,” he said.
Really, Sheriff? Then explain how the number of CCW permits has risen, while the occurrence of violent crime has dropped.
More guns make for a polite society.
As for Mr. Cherry, I pray for him and his family, and hope he has a solid defense team. In New York, he’s gonna need it.
But Mr. Cherry isn’t alone in defending his property with a firearm. There have been a bunch of them:
These are the other incidents:
• Willie J. Carson, 52, shot Parrish C. Spencer Jr., 22, in the chest Jan. 20, after the younger man broke into Carson’s 25th Street home and went upstairs, Niagara Falls police said.
No charges have been filed against Carson, but police have said the case has been turned over to the Niagara County district attorney’s office for further investigation.
• An 82-year-old Niagara Falls man, apparently scared and confused after a group of teens attempted to break into his home Jan. 15, fired one shotgun blast at police after they entered the home and found him hiding behind a closed door.
No one was hit, and the elderly man was not charged.
• Charles E. Gidney Sr., an off-duty Buffalo police officer, shot and killed one intruder, Reno D. Sayles, 36, and seriously wounded another inside his Buffalo home last April 22.
In his statement to police, Gidney said he grabbed his handgun, pointed it at the two men, one wearing a ski mask, and ordered them to “freeze.” Instead, they rushed at him, and he fired several shots, he said.
An Erie County grand jury cleared Gidney in July, ruling the shootings a “justifiable use of deadly physical force,” District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III explained.