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Old January 11, 2009, 10:51 PM   #1
scoutleader
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Four males jump your fence

All,
One of the few times that I was not ready I had 4 young males jump my 6 foot privacy fence. I had to work most of the night Friday evening and early Saturday morning. I took about an hour and a half nap, I was wakened by my wife to hear that we had 4 young males running through the backyard. I looked out the window to see the last two hop up and over my privacy fence.

Well in a half sleepy daze I grabbed a pair of shoes and told the wife to call the police (not 911). I got to about 10 foot from the back fence and could see the males on the other side. I realized at that time I was unarmed and a bit nervous. I was standing near my wood pile and remembered I had left my small 10 pound mallet on top if the wood pile. I grabbed the mallet and hear my wife whistle for me.

I turn around to see her holding her 20 ga. for me to come a get. That is when I hear the idiots jumping back on the fence. I turn around and get to the fence as two of them are trying to get over the fence. I see two sets of hands and use the only thing I have at the time, the mallet.

I hit the first hand hard, he drops and starts yelling, the second sets keeps hanging on the fence as his buddy is trying to get up. So I figure he wants what his buddy got, and I am more than happy to give it to him. Well I guess they figure it was not safe to cross back over and they haul on through the next yard.

By the time I got back to the house I had a cop pulling up in the yard. Told him what happened and that with the odds of 4 to 1 I was out numbered and did what I had to do to keep them from entering the yard. He said they committed a class A felony and if he could find them I could press charges. I told him that two of them should be pretty easy to find, they would have a sore right hand.
I know I should have not smacked them with the mallet but I was tired and **** that they would do this at 3 in the afternoon. I know if they did catch them nothing would have been done and maybe they might come back to get revenge. I am just ****** at what this city has turned into and can not wait till I can get out of it. Thanks for the rant.
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Old January 11, 2009, 10:59 PM   #2
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Reminded me of the ol' cheech and chong skit and the judge in it saying "Bailiff, WHACK HIS PEEPEE!"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-OkxEItgWY
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Old January 12, 2009, 12:00 AM   #3
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Sound like a bunch of kids just messing around jumping fences. I bet they find a new hobby real fast though

Another reason keeping pepper spray around is a good idea
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Old January 12, 2009, 12:46 AM   #4
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trespassing is a class A felony in TN?
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Old January 12, 2009, 01:12 AM   #5
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That was a good way to resolve a situation that could have turned out much worse. Plus, like you said, you provided a good way for at least a couple of them to be identified. If they find them soon, they'll pretty well get caught red-handed. Or black and blue handed, depending on the way the bruises/broken bones (maybe) develop.
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Old January 12, 2009, 01:28 AM   #6
Smallgame2100
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I woulda done the same thing, except I woulda thrown something, even my phone if I had to.

I wouldnt let them go with just a sore right hand.
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Old January 12, 2009, 01:42 AM   #7
Sixer
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Boys will be boys...

Doesnt sound like the posed a serious threat, probably just messing around. I bet they they won't be messing around in YOUR yard any more!
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Old January 12, 2009, 04:06 AM   #8
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Quote:
trespassing is a class A felony in TN?
That does seem a bit extreme... I thought criminal trespass was a lowly Class C Misdemeanor and can be punished by a fine or a sentence of up to 30 days in jail. Class A felonies (Not less than fifteen (15) nor more than sixty (60) years in prison. In addition, the jury may assess a fine not to exceed fifty thousand dollars ($50,000), unless otherwise provided by statute) are the second most serious felonies with only capital crimes being higher.

Quote:
That is when I hear the idiots jumping back on the fence. I turn around and get to the fence as two of them are trying to get over the fence. I see two sets of hands and use the only thing I have at the time, the mallet.

I hit the first hand hard, he drops and starts yelling, the second sets keeps hanging on the fence as his buddy is trying to get up. So I figure he wants what his buddy got, and I am more than happy to give it to him.
You can hit people with a mallet for trespassing in TN?
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Old January 12, 2009, 04:29 AM   #9
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Quote:
I hit the first hand hard, he drops and starts yelling, the second sets keeps hanging on the fence as his buddy is trying to get up. So I figure he wants what his buddy got, and I am more than happy to give it to him. Well I guess they figure it was not safe to cross back over and they haul on through the next yard.
Don't know why but I could not quit laughing at this. I had a picture in my mind of a line of hands and a guy just bopping away at them. Sounds like you had just the right tool for the job.
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Old January 12, 2009, 04:58 AM   #10
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Sounds to me that if one of the kids came over the fence and you took the mallet to them, you would be the one in jail. I know I would be mad if it was my yard but at 4 to 1 odds sometimes you have to consider the aftermath of your own actions...Don't get me wrong what you did would more than likely been my first reaction to..Like you said, it's just a shame what some areas have become...
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Old January 12, 2009, 07:09 AM   #11
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I know I would be mad if it was my yard but at 4 to 1 odds sometimes you have to consider the aftermath of your own actions
I probably wouldn't have gone out, even if armed. But only a hammer? You ain't Thor. 4 to 1? Call the cops, arm yourself, gather the family and secretly watch through a window.
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Old January 12, 2009, 07:32 AM   #12
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I woulda done the same thing, except I woulda thrown something, even my phone if I had to.
I wouldn't put anything across the fence as that would be a crime I bet....

Quote:
Sound like a bunch of kids just messing around jumping fences.
Very possibly was just that. But don't go crossing MY FENCE My fence is there so that only the invited are "messing around" in my yard...

Quote:
I probably wouldn't have gone out, even if armed. But only a hammer? You ain't Thor. 4 to 1?
As was proven here... most deviant youth are not truly tuff... once one goes down many if not all the rest will flee like trash can rats when they here the garbage truck...
Had it been in florida and any had crossed back into my yard it would have been Head Busta time...

Do these punks actually just mess around tearing up folks high dollar fences or were they fleeing a home up the street that they had been attempting to B&E when scared off like the little punks they are...
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Old January 12, 2009, 07:39 AM   #13
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Property rights

Where I live kids just don't jump a 6' fence just to be jumping them, when they jump one here they are up to no good. In my neighborhood most most residents are retired and the majority of them are retired military and are armed. The four fence jumpers would have paid dearly for their total disregard of others property rights. Need I say more.
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Old January 12, 2009, 07:40 AM   #14
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The rudeness, and stupidness of some young members of our society flabbergasts me! If they had taken that trespass into a criminal trespass, as in kicking in your back door, one or more of them could have been killed!

Depending on the difficulty (time line) of gaining entry, ie; screen and house door construction.

One place I worked years ago, had a stray dog we adopted, a big one! had a black coat like a thick rug, he did not bark! a Buvayay? (spelling) once those first set of sneakers had hit the ground? Trouble would have arrived for that first young trespasser. Does fair game sound right!
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Old January 12, 2009, 07:41 AM   #15
George PT-111
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well done my friend !! haha really
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Old January 12, 2009, 08:15 AM   #16
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My wife asked me if I was playing whack a Mole with there hands. I do believe that they were up to no good. I am on our neighbor hood watch and we have had an influx of some thugs due to the economy. I did call the police and when I when out to the fence it was just to see if I could see where they were headed. At 42, I did not think I could fight off four 18 to 20 year old punk kids. I did see one of them Sunday night while I was out on watch, I called the police and they did come talk to him.
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Old January 12, 2009, 10:00 AM   #17
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Quote:
Where I live kids just don't jump a 6' fence just to be jumping them, when they jump one here they are up to no good.
Same here. We can all say they were just 'messing around' because they were caught and tried to flee. No telling what they might have been up to if they weren't caught.
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Old January 12, 2009, 11:51 AM   #18
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You know, it used to be that teenagers causing trouble got a load of rock salt from a shotgun and most everybody thought it pretty well served them right. Now the question is "You hit them on the hand with a hammer! How dare you!"

Right there, in a sentence, one big reason society is where it's at today.
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Old January 12, 2009, 12:40 PM   #19
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According to this, criminal trespass in Tennessee is a Class C Misdemeanor and can be punished by a fine or a sentence of up to 30 days in jail. Tenn. Code Ann. 40-35-111 (2006). "If the accused person uses force to enter the property and has knowledge that the owner has not consented to the entry, the trespass is criminal. A fence or enclosure around the property can convey the owner’s lack of effective consent. Otherwise the offense is a civil one that will not result in criminal charges."


http://www.tennesseecriminallawyerbl..._trespass.html

However, I find no mention of the use of force in the law itself:

http://www.tncrimlaw.com/TPI_Crim/14_05.htm

I do find it noteworthy that the law states that "entry" means that the person's entire body has entered, and that if the person leaves upon request he will not be prosecuted.

Where I live, the county police are given a great deal of legal instruction. Apparently that's not the case in the department that responded to the OP.
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Old January 12, 2009, 08:11 PM   #20
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The dogs here would have had some new chew toys. Squeaky ones, the kind they like best...

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Old January 12, 2009, 10:04 PM   #21
vytoland
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wow sounds like u had a terrorist activity on your turf..........got 2 de fend the home land at all costs
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Old January 13, 2009, 03:23 AM   #22
guntotin_fool
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Seems to me all they were doing at the point you hit them was touching the fence. You attempted to cripple them over touching your fence?


What ever happened to "get the hell outta here" or "Whatcha doing in my yard"? I would think that is where I would start before trying to cause GBH with a hammer.


I wasn't there I understand that. But when does hoping a fence constitute a grave threat to harm you. Particularly at three pm. Three am I can be convinced something was up. But three PM means schools out. May be your daughter or your neighbors daughter invited them over but they got interupted. Maybe they were trying to meet one of the above girls and found out you where home. Until you have good reason to suspect they meant you harm I have to say you were WAY over the line.

The more I sit here and re think this and re read this, I get really angry over the tone that a few have taken here about "Hoooo Boy!! That be some fun smashing some kids hand for touching your fence!!!"

Without knowing what those kids were doing I would say you have probably opened a can of whooppaaass on your self. If that had been me just being a kid, not in the commission of any crime but just cutting through a yard and you had smashed my hand. There would be nothing of your property which would be safe. Nothing. Call me an un-repentant juvie or whatever, but
smashing my hand without warning or cause would put you on the perpetual ****list for all time.

I just can't get over not saying "Whatcha doing in my yard" before playing blacksmith on some kids hand.

Last edited by guntotin_fool; January 13, 2009 at 03:37 AM.
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Old January 13, 2009, 05:55 AM   #23
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I agree with guntotin-fool.. and what the heck was you're wife doing with a shotgun!?

I mean, sure they probably shouldn't have been running through your yard... but it sounds like they were already on their way out when you decided to go whacking at them. To me that says that they were no longer a threat. I guess it's probably a good thing that you weren't "prepared".

If you honestly felt your life was in danger, from 4 kids, then that's a different story. It just doesn't seem like that was the case though.

It reminds me of when I was a kid and we had that one token "grumpy old guy" in the neighborhood. I took a shortcut through his yard one night and the old fart chased me half way down the block, lol! Needless to say, my old man was knocking on his door the next morning. I don't know what my dad said to him, but he was very apologetic the next time we met.
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Old January 13, 2009, 06:48 AM   #24
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Seems to me all they were doing at the point you hit them was touching the fence. You attempted to cripple them over touching your fence?
Gimme a break. Don't trivialize actions in such a manner that we can show any activity is virtually harmless. This reminds me of a lady I saw on TV who was crying (literally) that her baby was killed for trespassing and the punishment for trespassing was not death. In reality, her boy was killed during a B&E with several other boys and was in the home of a man who defended his family. The boy was unarmed and was trespassing, no doubt. The mother made it sound like the boy was doing nothing harmful what-so-ever, and maybe he wasn't (yeah, right), but from the perspective of the man, the boy and his fellow gang initiates were advancing down the hall toward himself and his family and would not stop until he shot the lead boy. His actions were completely justified and no charges were filed against him.

He did not hit the trespasser for "touching the fence." Did you not read? He hit the trespasser for attempting to trespass again.

Quote:
That is when I hear the idiots jumping back on the fence. I turn around and get to the fence as two of them are trying to get over the fence. I see two sets of hands and use the only thing I have at the time, the mallet.
Now while I don't believe hitting a guy's hands with a mallet is an appropriate line of action here, the point is that it was done to stop a perceived crime against the hitter. He protected himself and his property in the process against what he perceived as a threat.

Along similar lines, you can't use deadly force against another who is holding a knife. Holding a knife isn't a crime, even. However, if that person holding the knife is threatening your life, you can use deadly force. We can trivialize the situation and claim the aggressor was "just" holding a knife, but that doesn't convey anything about the intent. Sure, the tresspassers were "touching the fence" but it wasn't for the sake of feeling the wood grain, as perceived, but to commit trespass anew.

Quote:
If you honestly felt your life was in danger, from 4 kids, then that's a different story. It just doesn't seem like that was the case though.
Right, nothing in the OP bespeaks of fear for one's life. In fact, it all sounds rather hokey. Why the cop would allegedly state that trespass was a Class A felony is just off the scale in wrongness. The only way it would have been more wrong is if the cop allegedly said it was a capital crime.

The question is one of whether the actions taken, hitting the hands with a mallet, were actually justified.
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Old January 13, 2009, 08:38 AM   #25
scoutleader
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To Spy and guntotin,
I had yelled at them when they went out of the yard. They were on the way back in to the yard when I hit there hands. So if your kids are playing in the backyard and four 18 to 20 year old males start hopping over your 6 foot fence and do not stay out when you tell them too, do you just let them?
My daughter is 9 and no she did not call them to come over. My property is marked private, they disobeyed the command to stay out. It was criminal trespassing. If they would prosecute cases then the thugs would not keep doing this, all they would have got was a slap on the hand from a judge and told not to do it again.
I did what I did to keep my family safe. The wife go the shotgun for me because I told her to do it. There was 4 against one and I am to old to roll around on the ground with them.
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