Friday, September 18, 2009
Man Kills Intruder With Sword
Here's the link to The Baltimore Sun
Hours earlier, someone had broken into John Pontolillo's house and taken two laptops and a video-game console. Now it was past midnight, and he heard noises coming from the garage out back.
The Johns Hopkins University undergraduate didn't run. He didn't call the police. He grabbed his samurai sword.
With the 3- to 5-foot-long, razor-sharp weapon in hand, police say, Pontolillo crept toward the noise. He noticed a side door in the garage had been pried open. When a man inside lunged at him, police say, the confrontation was fatal.
"He was backed up against a corner and either out of fear or out of panic, he just struck the sword with force," said Baltimore Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi. "It was probably with fear for his life."
Pontolillo, who rents the house in the 300 block of E. University Parkway in the Oakenshawe neighborhood, struck the intruder no more than twice, police say, nearly severing his left hand and inflicting what police termed a "spear laceration."
The intruder, Donald D. Rice of Baltimore, a 49-year-old repeat offender who had been released from jail only Saturday, died at the bloody scene.
(D.R.) So I imagine lots of us will have mixed feelings about this incident. The short video above is not the original from the article, which did not have an embed code.
In that video, the robber/victim's sister states that Rice never entered the house, and was killed in the garage.
She makes a legal point here. I believe in most States you are required to prove that you have retreated to another part of the house to avoid an intruder before using lethal force. I'm not a lawyer, so I can only speculate.
Let's re-frame the context of the incident:
Is a sword the right choice for a home defense weapon? I know that my swords are too big to effectivly use them inside a house. Secondly, I would rather leave an intruder alive and beat-to-shit than possibly face prosecution for killing him.
1. Claw hammer: The absolutely most useful self-defense tool for anyone
2. Club or short stick: Not as effective as a hammer but in trained hands effective
3. Baseball bat: starting to get too long for use in hallways etc., but not bad
4. Short Bladed weapon: Possibly as lethal as a sword, kitchen or hunting knives
5. Shall we say it? Handgun. Well, you have to worry about bullets going through apartment walls etc., but I can't deny that it may simply work as a deterrent.
6. Call 911 and let the police deal with it, since it is IN THE GARAGE
Prosecuters are deciding if they will charge the swordsman. How would you handle the situation?
***Thanks Eric, for sending the story