Tuesday, April 6, 2004

Spokane County, Washington

From the Spokane Spokesman-Review of April 6, 2004:

(Requires registration)

Burglars get surprise from homeowner

When pair kick in the door of home, they are met with shot from pistol

Two burglars found a farmhouse Monday in Spokane County that appeared to be an easy target.

But when they kicked in the door, the two 20-something burglars became targets themselves.

Elroy Dusbabek, 45, told Spokane County Sheriff's deputies that he fired a shot over the heads of the fleeing men who raced away in a purple car.

"Near as we can tell, he didn't hit the bad guys," sheriff's spokesman Cpl. Dave Reagan said of the one shot from Dusbabek's .22-caliber semi-automatic target pistol.

The incident started about 1:30 p.m. Monday when the two men approached Dusbabek's home in the 8600 block of North Five Mile Road, Reagan said.

Dusbabek "is usually at work at this time of day," Reagan said. "It was just luck of the draw that he happened to be here today."

The two white males -- one with short brown hair and a flannel shirt, and the second with a shaved head and stubble beard -- knocked on Dusbabek's front door.

"Deciding he didn't want to be bothered by salesmen, he did not answer the door but instead went to an upstairs window to watch," Reagan said in a news release.

Dusbabek heard one of the men walk around to the back of the house. But moments later, both men got into a purple Hyundai-type car and drove away.

Minutes later, Dusbabek heard the rear screen door being opened. As he walked to the back of the house, the door crashed in, Reagan said.

"He yelled, and they took off running," Reagan said. "He cracked off a round to send them on their way."

Dusbabek told deputies that he aimed over the heads of the men and in the direction of the abandoned brick building that formerly housed the Five Mile Elementary School.

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