View Full Version : "Legal defense of life and property"

July 22, 2009, 01:08 PM
We've discussed this here several times over the last couple months. Now here is a case where the district attorney feels there is some confusion.

Now remember, this is a state where the vast majority of residents are armed, and carrying concealed without a permit is acceptable, provided the carrier is not prohibited from owning a firearm. Also keep in mind that there is often limited presence of law enforcement outside of Anchorage or Fairbanks. A small place like Soldotna may not get a response to a break in for hours, possibly days, so calling 911 to report a burglar in the house may not do any good.


Ceiling fan at center of three-man battle in Soldotna

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Published: July 21st, 2009 10:05 PM
Last Modified: July 21st, 2009 10:05 PM

Daniel Ames reckons he dealt one for the good guys on Saturday night near Soldotna when he came home, found two burglars in his house, wrestled with them over a pistol, then took them down, telling them he was going to blow off their knees if they didn't start following his orders.

One of the two 21-year-olds charged with the burglary turned out to be Ames' next-door neighbor, according to a report from the Alaska State Troopers. The young man registered a blood alcohol content of .418, which is more than five times the legal limit to drive.

Ames called the young men bandits.

The 49-year-old construction worker was returning home from work on Saturday around 9 p.m. when a neighbor told him some kids were wandering around near his home, which was being remodeled.

He rushed home to find his neighbor, Chance Tallman, and Joshua Simons trying to walk out of his house with a $125 ceiling fan, he said.

Ames said he wasn't going to let those guys get away with burglary.

"What are you two buttheads doing in my house?" he said.

To that, apparently, one of the young men said, "Who are you calling buttheads?" and began to pull out a Glock pistol.

Ames grabbed for it and began wrestling, thrashing Tallman's hand against wall studs to loosen his grip. The gun broke loose and then, according to Ames, the men looked ready to carry on with their fists. That's when he pulled out his own concealed weapon, also a Glock. He shot into the ground to let the burglars know he was serious, he said.

He told the men to get down on their knees. If they didn't, he was going to blow off their kneecaps.

He had them. Drama over. Good guy wins. Or so he says.

Tallman told troopers a different story. He was merely trespassing, picked up the fan to admire it, thinking his mother would like it, and then Ames barged in the door, put him in a chokehold, then recklessly shot the gun into the floor.

As for the Glock, that was his mother's, Tallman told the troopers. She showed up on the scene afterward and confirmed it was hers, troopers said.

Simons admitted to troopers that he was trespassing but said he was only admiring the construction work.

Troopers charged Tallman with burglary, theft, assault and misconduct with a weapon. Simons faces burglary and theft charges.

Trooper Sgt. James Truesdell, who investigated the case, said that when he arrived Ames had both men on the ground in the front yard. A Glock 23 was on the ground with a round in the chamber. Ames told the trooper that he had taken the pistol from Tallman, Truesdell wrote in his report.

The trooper said he didn't charge Ames with any crime but the district attorney may feel differently after reading the report. When asked what he meant, he read Alaska statutes on what constitutes legal defense of life and property.


Find Megan Holland online at adn.com/contact/mholland or call 257-4343.

July 22, 2009, 01:43 PM
Those poor misunderstood youths. I am sure the two guys liked the ceiling fan so much they wanted to show it to their mom. What great guys.


July 22, 2009, 02:30 PM
He wont be prosecuted, simply because, rightly or wrongly, no Alaska jury will convict him.

Based on the facts presented (and Megan Holland is a superb reporter and by no means anti gun, considering she likes shooting my Blaser :)), there is no crime committed by the homeowner anyway, the Trooper was just playing CYA.

However, the homeowner was on the Bob and Mark Show on the radio this am. I did call in towards the end and told him he should keep his mouth shut, and come by and get a free box of ammo. Many of the other callers were chest thumping :)

WildjustanotheralaskadayAlaska ™

July 22, 2009, 02:55 PM
Yes as a youngster we did wander about the construction sites looking for ideas as Mothers Day was soon to be upon us :) what better way to shop after all.

That one kid sure had a nose on, he must have been a little dim witted for all of that booze.

July 22, 2009, 09:26 PM
With a BAC of .418 (if that is to be believed) how in the heck did he remember anything that happened. If I was on the jury there is no way that I would put any faith into anything someone with that kind of BAC says.

July 23, 2009, 08:35 PM
In the wrong town in another state Ames might have been charged with reckless conduct. The boys' story wouldn't fly very far though even with a good lawyer.

July 24, 2009, 06:09 AM
I feel sorry for the Trooper, as sorting out that array of stories would be a job for Solomon. In another State, with different statutes, the homeowner could have been in real trouble. On the flip side, with the presence of the BGs Glock, and with a carefully honed lie, the homeowner could have probably gotten away with shooting both of the burglars.:confused:

July 24, 2009, 06:49 AM
Assuming the facts are as initially described above, I can't imagine how anyone would even consider filing charges against the homeowner.

Double Naught Spy
July 24, 2009, 07:11 AM
Unarmed man stops two drunk and armed burglars? Cool.

July 24, 2009, 02:50 PM
In one pocket, Mommy's Glock. In another, Daddy's Smirnoff - oops, empty. What a recipe for disaster.

The homeowner was justified anywhere in this country in confronting the kids that were unlawfully in his home. Whether or not force can be used to stop the burglary, and how much force, depends on state or local laws. But when the dipsh** produced Mommy's gun, he opened the door for lethal force in self-protection. He is lucky he is still breathing.

Some places, holding the perps against their will could amount to a kidnapping charge, or unlawful restraint. Places like Kalifornia. (boy i'm glad i don't live there any more). Doubt it would stick even there, but... Anyway, I hope these "kids" get smart and figure out a way to live on the right side of the law. Alaska sounds like the absolutely wrong place for a couple of dumba** punks to be doing drunken B&E.

Evan Thomas
July 24, 2009, 03:33 PM
He is lucky he is still breathing.
Yeah, and not just because Mr. Ames showed commendable restraint in not using lethal force against him. A BAC of .418??? As I recall, the LD50 for alcohol is around .4... :eek: How was he even conscious?

July 24, 2009, 03:49 PM
Yeah, and not just because Mr. Ames showed commendable restraint in not using lethal force against him. A BAC of .418??? As I recall, the LD50 for alcohol is around .4...Of course, as you must be aware, LD50 means that it is estimated to be fatal to 50% of subjects, not 100%.

How was he even conscious?Well, this was in Alaska, after all.