Police in Memphis, Tennessee have reported that a man fought off a burglar until the police arrived.
On Saturday, officers were called to a fight at Mayflower Avenue in Shelby County’s Nutbush neighborhood. Upon arrival, officers reported that two men were in a physical altercation.
One of these men was the homeowner who told police that he arrived home and noticed that his storm door was open. When he entered the property he found a pile of clothing by the front door and that the attic ladder had been left down.
The victim said that after he saw Christopher Barker, 31, in the attic wearing one of his jackets, he told him to come down. Barker then came down the steps but then dived through a window into the street.
The homeowner stopped Barker not far from the property and waited for police, but neighbors told News Channel 3 Memphis that Barker took a beating before the police arrived—as is evident in the mugshot later released by law enforcement.
According to data collected by CrimeGrade, the Nutbush area has a higher rate of property crime than average for a U.S. city.
Crime data revealed that the rate of property crime in the neighborhood is approximately 69 per 1,000 residents per standard year.
Barker’s bond was set at $5,000. He is scheduled to make his first appearance before a judge on on February 21.
How Can You Defend Your Home?
In 2022 a Florida Sheriff’s advice to shoot home invaders divided the internet, but what are the laws around defending your home?
The U.S. common law of “castle doctrine” says that everyone has the right to use reasonable force to protect themselves against an intruder in their home.
In the 1980s a series of state laws, often nicknamed “make my day” laws, addressed immunity from prosecution where deadly force is used against an individual forcibly entering another’s residence.
Meanwhile, Florida’s controversial “stand your ground” law has received increasing criticism in recent years.
Florida’s law states: “A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force, if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.”
Both “stand your ground” and “duty to retreat” laws vary in different states, but at least 28 states have a law that allows for no duty to retreat in a place where one is lawfully present. Ten of those states include language that one may “stand his or her ground.”
Despite these laws, it is always advisable to stay safe and call 911 for assistance in the case of a home invasion.