Condition red at 4 a.m. this morning


I was snoozing comfortably at 4 a.m. Monday morning when I heard my wife scream: “Hey! Get the f— away from my car!”

We live in a quiet neighborhood of Sarasota. Crime is virtually nonexistent. Police patrols are frequent.

Lately, however, there have been a few worrisome signs: we’ve found screen door to the lanai open a couple times, and the gate to the back yard has been found unlocked.

I jumped out of bed, grabbed my XD, (I had just written a story about it the night before) pulled on a pair of shorts and ran to see what Carla was screaming about.

She threw open the front door as I came into the living room. She had her XD. She can be a bit of a pitbull at times.

There was a young man in the car port, standing next to her car. He was about 18-20, wearing nothing but a pair of long white shorts. He had short-cropped black hair. He was barefoot. He was also drunk, stoned or both – slurring his speech and having a hard time standing. He smelled of cigarettes, booze and pot.

Carla said she saw him try the door of her car a couple times, while she was in the kitchen getting a drink of water.

He mumbled that he had been sleeping, in our carport. He denied trying to break into her car, even though she had watched him do it. It was locked. No entry was made.

He also said he lived “right there.”

He seemed somewhat familiar. We both thought maybe we recognized him. He lives nearby, possibly.

Carla called 911 and handed me the phone. I spoke to to the dispatcher. I’m sure they heard my wife screaming at the kid in the background.

I relaxed. Convinced the young man was not a threat, I went to grab a shirt and put the pistols away. Perhaps I shouldn’t have. The suspect stumbled off. Good riddance, however. I wasn’t about to use force on a drunken kid to prevent him from leaving our property – for misdemeanor trespassing or loitering and prowling at best.

Sarasota Police Officer Revill arrived, accompanied by a female officer whose name I didn’t catch.

They were quick, efficient and very tactical.

They took a report and checked the area with negative results – more proof he probably lives close by.

Officer Revill asked if I had weapons in the home, adding that I had a right to protect myself. I thanked him and said I was somewhat familiar with home defense.

Both officers did a great job.

While most home defense plans focus on what to do against an armed intruder – deadly force scenarios  – this type of intruder is more common.

The suspect in your carport a 0-dark-30 is usually not a ninja, but rather a drunk or a kid or both, like this fella. Force isn’t always an option. It can sometimes exacerbate the situation and expose you to massive civil liability.

We’ll be beefing up the perimeter security of our home a bit, and perhaps adding a less-than-lethal option.

I hope the young man finds somewhere else to ‘sleep,’ somewhere a tad safer.

After he sobers up, I hope he realizes his mistake, and that he was a mere five pounds away from having a very, very bad case of the Mondays.








About Author

Lee Williams can’t remember a time in his life when he wasn’t shooting. Before becoming a journalist, Lee served in the Army and worked as a police officer. He’s earned more than a dozen journalism awards as a reporter, and three medals of valor as a cop. He is an NRA-certified law enforcement firearms instructor, an avid tactical shooter and a training junkie. When he’s not busy as a senior investigative reporter, he is usually shooting his AKs, XDs and CZs. If you don’t run into him at a local gun range, you can reach him at 941.284.8553, by email, or by regular mail to 1777 Main St., Sarasota, FL 34236. You can follow him on Twitter: @HT_GunWriter and on Facebook @The Gun Writer.

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