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Old December 4, 2002, 04:05 PM   #1
MTNTHUNDER
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[Weird Situation] What would you do?

This actually happened to a friend of mine a few years ago...

You hear some noise oustide your house at about 2am. You look out your window to the backyard to see a man trying to STEAL your hunting dog. Your dog is in a dog run and the man has opened the door and has just picked up your dog. (Yeah...it's not a Rottweiler or Doberman, but a friendly Lab.)

So what would you do?

Here is what my friend did....
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He grabbed his .45 and maglight and RAN out the front door to his porch. As the guy came around the corner of the house, my friend shined the flashlight on the guy and barked <no pun intended> for him to freeze. The guy kept walking, but very slowly while mumbling something. My friend now yelled out: "If I have to I'll take the chance on killing him but you WILL DIE! STOP OR I WILL SHOOT" They guy stopped and let the dog down, which ran to his master like all dogs should.

All of the sudden two more guys come fron around the corner of the house with their hands up.

He held them at bay until police arrived. Come to find out they had been stealing dogs for a few months (they were running a puppy mill) and were looking to score a black lab for their operation. The thing that is scary is

#1- If he had rushed out unarmed....three on one isn't a very fair fight.

#2- Proves that once again, having a tactical advantage (porch vs. backyard) is a huge strength when dealing with an intruder.

Now would have anyone did anything different?
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Old December 4, 2002, 05:43 PM   #2
ReefBlueCoupe
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it's hard to say. if this had been an isolated incodent (thieves were only stealing his one dog and not already known to police), the police may have acted differently in regards to his threat of deadly force in protection of his dog.

given the circumstances though, I would probably have done the same thing.
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Old December 4, 2002, 11:00 PM   #3
nbk2000
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Get a new dog!

What self-respecting dog is going to let a stranger carry it off in the middle of the night without putting up a fight?!
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Old December 5, 2002, 03:16 AM   #4
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What self-respecting dog is going to let a stranger carry it off in the middle of the night without putting up a fight?!
It was a Lab, sounds like it was resisting! Just show it the tennis ball, then toss the ball towards your vehicle, lab will follow.
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Old December 5, 2002, 07:39 AM   #5
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I would have grabbed an AR instead of a .45 and asked ONCE. If someone has my dog they must have already broken into my house, and so a whole different set of rules apply.
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Old December 5, 2002, 08:58 AM   #6
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Dogs are property. In Texas, you can shoot a criminal at night to protect your property.

I may not have much of a dog, but he's MINE!!!
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Old December 5, 2002, 12:27 PM   #7
TEA
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Actually, in Texas you can shoot someone in daylight to protect your property, too, but you are expected to shoot to wound not to kill. The rational for the use of deadly force at night to protect your property is that its harder to aim at night.
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Old December 5, 2002, 10:20 PM   #8
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I may not have much of a dog, but he's MINE!!!
Ditto........
I'd be more likely to shoot someone stealing my dog, than someone stealing my truck.
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Old December 9, 2002, 01:09 AM   #9
Walther P99
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Actually, in Texas you can shoot someone in daylight to protect your property, too, but you are expected to shoot to wound not to kill. The rational for the use of deadly force at night to protect your property is that its harder to aim at night.
I think in Texas in order to use deadly force in the daytime your life would have to be in immediate, immeninent danger. It's permissable to use deadly force to protect property at night since it's the assumption that anyone unlawfully entering the owner's premises does so with the intent to harm the owner. I've pasted the section on the Texas CHL laws dealing with deadly force to protect property. The law's silent on shooting to wound in the daytime for any reason, and I'd strongly advise against it.

ഊTEXAS CONCEALED HANDGUN LAWS
PC §9.42. DEADLY FORCE TO PROTECT PROPERTY. A person is
justified in using deadly force against another to protect land or tangi-ble, movable property:PC §9.51. 47
(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, bur-glary,
robbery, aggravated robbery, theft during the nighttime, or crimi-nal
mischief during the nighttime; or
(B) to prevent the other who is fleeing immediately after com-mitting
burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, or theft during the night-time
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.
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Old December 9, 2002, 01:58 AM   #10
rlpinca
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I have 2 mastiffs. I don't think anyone would be walking in my backyard at night. Running maybe, but definately not walking.

I love my dogs and am very protective of anything on my property. I only investigate strange noises if I am armed.

So yes, I would have done the same thing. You're right, 3 on 1 could have turned very bad, very quickly.
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Old December 9, 2002, 04:20 AM   #11
legalhack
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You can have anything I own and I won't shoot you. Not worth popping someone over some material item. Steal my dog or screw with my wife and you're dead.
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Old December 9, 2002, 09:00 AM   #12
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Call the police first. Identify and describe yourself quickly. Then if you feel the need to save your pup ,do so. If something goes wrong at least you have back up on the way.




Litlman.....................
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Old December 9, 2002, 09:58 AM   #13
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As said above, get a dog that doesn't have a victim mentality. Some people eat dogs....
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Old December 9, 2002, 11:44 AM   #14
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Saw a great bumper sticker...

My Labrador is Smarter than your Honor Student

Doesn't say much for the honor student... But I still like labs - They're big, they'll give a box of rocks a run for your money, and they unconditionally love.
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Old December 9, 2002, 01:34 PM   #15
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Walther,

Actually, your citation is from the Penal Code - Chapter Nine, which is referenced in Concealed Handgun Law, but applies much more broadly than to just handguns. Since the section you cite refers to a previous section of the Penal Code Chapter Nine regarding defense of property, perhaps we should look at this first.

§ 9.41. Protection of One's Own Property

(a) A person in lawful possession of land or tangible, movable property is justified in using force against another when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to prevent or terminate the other's trespass on the land or unlawful interference with the property.

(b) A person unlawfully dispossessed of land or tangible, movable property by another is justified in using force against the other when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to reenter the land or recover the property if the actor uses the force immediately or in fresh pursuit after the dispossession and:

(1) the actor reasonably believes the other had no claim of right when he dispossessed the actor; or

(2) the other accomplished the dispossession by using force, threat, or fraud against the actor.

Under these general provisions, Thunder's friend would have been justified in using force against the thief regardless of whether it was daytime or night time.

Looking more carefully at subsection 9.42 Deadly Force to Protect Property, we can see two grounds for justifying shooting the blighter where he stood.

PC 9.42 subsections 1 and 2 A) permits the use of deadly force if justified to use force under PC 9. 41 and "to prevent the other's imminent commission of. . . theft during the nighttime. . ."

PC 9.42 subsection 3 would allow him to shoot the sucker because he could argue that "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." Since many dog thieves use the dogs in dog fights, he could argue that he reasonably believed that he would not be able to recover his dog by any other means, and to get in a fight with the thief would have subjected him to the risk of serious bodily harm. Since (B) specifies that the use of deadly force is justified against someone fleeing under those circumstances, Thunder's friend would have been justified in chasing after them and shooting them if they had gotten in their vehicle and fled.


A few other items of note in PC 9.42: (1) and (2)(A) would justify and has been used to justify the shooting of trespassers at night, since they are committing "or criminal mischief during the nighttime." (1) and (2)(A) do not limit the use of deadly force "to prevent the other's imminent commission of arson, burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery" to the nitht time, so it always open season on firebugs, burglars and robbers. (1) and (2)(B),as mentioned above, justify the use of deadly force in certain conditions if the thief or firebug is actually fleeing the scene, so that under those (eg night time,arson, burglary or robbery) circumstances one can give chase to and kill the offending party. I think the Legislature has sent a pretty clear signal, only commit these offenses if you want to risk being shot on the spot or chased down and shot by the agrieved party.
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Old December 9, 2002, 02:58 PM   #16
TheLastBoyScout
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I wanna live in Texas
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Old December 9, 2002, 03:28 PM   #17
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As a counter point, I lived in Hawai'i for nine years, and was very shocked to find out that I could be prosecuted for assault if I just beat up a burglar. That was one law that I fully intended on violating should anyone be stupid enough to set foot in my home. Must be why so many people have big mean dogs there, though, because you can't prosecute a dog.

Funniest burglary story I heard in Hawai'i? Guy break into house and is surprised to find a great big Rotweiller inside. However, the dog doesn't bark and just looks at him, and then follows him around the house while he collects valuables. Once the BG has the TV he starts heading for the door. Thats when Fido starts to growl and show teeth. Fido backs up BG until BG is forced to sit down on the couch. A few hours later, Mr. and Mrs Kimo come home to find a very scared BG sitting on their couch with a TV in his lap and a bag full of other valuable on his back. BG begs them to call off Fido so he can go pee.
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Old December 10, 2002, 12:43 AM   #18
Walther P99
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TEA

First, I'm certainly not a legal expert, but isn't there a difference between 'force' and 'deadly force'? I see § 9.41 deals with 'Force', but § 9.42 deals with 'Deadly Force' , leading me to believe that there's a difference.

Further, according to 9.42 the following things must happen (per the code) to justify 'deadly force':

(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, bur-glary,
robbery, aggravated robbery, theft during the nighttime, or crimi-nal
mischief during the nighttime; or
(B) to prevent the other who is fleeing immediately after com-mitting
burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, or theft during the night-time
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.

Due to the 'and' conjunctions, it appears the these three events must all happen together (not separately) in order to justify deadly force. Number 2 states that deadly force can be used to prevent ... DURING THE NIGHTTIME.

As I said, I'm not a legal expert (if I was I'd be making a hell of a lot more money
) and I may be misinterpreting the Code or your post. Anyway, I welcome further input, as I'm always open to learning...
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Old December 10, 2002, 03:26 PM   #19
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You missed the "or" after (2)(A). 9.42 (2)(A) deals with justification for the use of deadly force in the defense of property "immediately" under "immenent" conditions - ie during the commision of the crime; 9.42 (2)(B) sets up the justification for the use of deadly force to defend property after the fact if the conditions in (3) also exist.

As to the night time limitation, because it is imbedded individual clauses dealing with theft and criminal mischief, it is seperate from those felony crimes listed in the preceding clauses.
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Old December 10, 2002, 04:03 PM   #20
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TEA, I want to know where you come up with the concept of deadly force at night is okay because it is "harder to aim." Use of deadly force is fine in the circumstances described, but aiming has NOTHING to do with it. Deadly force does not just pertain to guns.

Maybe I missed it somewhere in your legal citations, but in no case do I know of is the use of lethal force only considered as "force" if done with the intent to wound and not kill. You shoot a gun at somebody, regardless of whether you want to kill them or wound them and it is lethal (deadly) force.

I am still trying to work through this...."Well Officer, being dark and all, I went ahead and shot him in the head a couple of times as he was carrying out my dog because it is harder to aim at night."

YES, definitely Texas law allows the use of deadly force at night under the circumstances described, but it has nothing to do with being harder to aim.
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Old December 10, 2002, 06:11 PM   #21
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I got the "harder to aim at night" interpretation from an editorial written by a lawyer (prosecutor or defense attorney, can't remember which), in one of the Houston papers (back when there were two) quite a few years ago following a shooting in Houston. If I remember the details of the shooting, a store owner shot a car thief stealing a customers car in day light hours.

The editorial commented on the fact that the car did not belong to the store owner, was in the parking lot of a building he did not own (strip mall where he leased space) and that it was during the day, so did not meet either the criteria of 9.41 with regards using force to defend one's own property nor the provision in 9.42 with regards to theft at night. I think the DA may have declined to press charges anyway, on the grounds that the store owner claimed that the thief was trying to run him over so it was self defence.

The author also gave an analysis of the law and its history, and stated that the reason for the night time provision was because it was harder to accurately aim a firearm and hit your target at night - the assumption being that during the day you could opt for shooting in the leg or such but had to aim COM at night to be assured of a hit. It may be hokey logic, but logic has never held much sway in the Capitol. I have heard much more ridiculous arguments made and actually carry floor votes.
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Old December 11, 2002, 06:37 AM   #22
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I'd be doubtful of ANYTHING printed in a Houston newspaper (or an Austin one, for that matter), but it's as good an explanation as any. I'd always though it was b/c that, at night, you couldn't tell if the perp had a weapon as easily as in the daytime.

Anyhow, in my part of Texas, the local law won't give you much grief if you shoot a thief at any time of day. You might even get a "thank you" card...
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Old December 11, 2002, 10:47 PM   #23
Walther P99
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Quote:
You missed the "or" after (2)(A).
Since 2(B) also states 'during the nighttime', it appears that 2(B) and 3 pertain to the nighttime as well.
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Old April 5, 2005, 02:57 AM   #24
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God Bless Texas!

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Dogs are property. In Texas, you can shoot a criminal at night to protect your property.
I love TEXAS! Native born and intent upon staying!
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Old April 5, 2005, 04:16 AM   #25
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I believe the "at night" provisions have more to do with the assumption that one must unreasonably expose oneself to greater danger when confronting a burglar, thief or subject damaging property at night.

But in the daytime, if you are justified in shooting, it is still considered deadly force.
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