Wednesday, May 3, 2006

Hot Springs, Arkansas

From the Texarkana Gazette of May 1, 2006
Hot Springs woman puts end to indecent exposure

It is not a good idea as a rule for a person to take the law into her own hands, but a Hot Springs, Ark., woman appears to have deterred some crime in her neighborhood with a flash from a gun. Problem is, she may have run afoul of the law herself.

Last weekend, a 37-year-old man turned up in the woman’s yard, exposing himself. The woman, 30, after repeated calls to police, fired a warning shot at the flasher. He jumped and fled, hitching up his drawers as he ran off.

He came back Sunday evening, this time dropping his pants, chunking stones at her windows and howling like a dog.

This time his victim took aim—well, maybe not perfect aim—and shot him in the leg.

That brought an end to his expose.

He took himself to a local hospital for treatment. He told law enforcement officials that he did not want to pursue charges against the shooter because he was in her yard and shouldn’t have been there.

Police, though, are required to forward the case to the local prosecutor for a determination on charges.

Perhaps the woman needs a little counseling about the actual circumstances in which self-defense is acceptable. But that’s all.

If police had showed up while the flasher was showing off, the woman might not have been tempted to end the unwanted peep show all by herself.

At least this guy is not likely to be showing up and out at the victim’s house again. That’s what law enforcement and judicial officials call a crime deterrent.
Clayton observes: The police are right, but barely so. The behavior of throwing stones and howling like a dog would give most rational people a reason to be afraid. This is exactly the sort of difficult case that a jury will decide, and they won't almost certainly decide in her favor.

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