Elderly Woman Calls Police, Holds Intruder at Gun Point

September 27, 2013 Updated Apr 16, 2010 at 7:06 PM EDT

By Laura Gray

...
September 27, 2013 Updated Apr 16, 2010 at 7:06 PM EDT


Boston, NY (WKBW) -- A sign on their home in Boston says no trespassing, and these homeowners mean it. 68 year old Kathleen Smith and her husband Charles were armed and ready when they allegedly found a stranger named Michael Smith in their barn on Wednesday. Sgt. Kevin Streety answered the 9-1-1 call. "I could hear the yelling in the background, and I knew that someone had a gun.I knew that someone was trying to cause harm to them. At that point, the person (Kathleen) did advise me that there was a person on the property, and they were going to shoot them."

Police say Michael Smith was there to steal metal to sell for scrap. The barn was broken into on Monday, and the homeowners were checking to see if the thief was coming back for more. Sgt Streety dispatched a crew, and coached Kathleen on what to do next. "I told them to tell the person to get on the ground. She obeyed all the commands."

Sgt. Streety says this suspect was lucky. In March, 31 year old David Park, an award winning teacher from Albany, was shot and killed after entering the wrong house in Amherst. Barry Covert, defense attorney for the homeowners tells us, "Legally, as soon as you reasonably believe your home is being burglarized you have the authority to use deadly physical force."

Thursday, felony charges were reduced in the case against a Royalton man who shot an alleged burglar's car. The Niagara County Assistant District Attorney tells us the charges against Dennis Cherry will be dropped if he stays out of trouble over the next six months.

Sargent Streety says when it comes to defending your property against intruders, the law in on home owner's side. "She was very very brave to do what she did. I wouldn't advise anyone to hold a gun on another person. Things could have gone wrong."

As for the David Park shooting, District Attorney Frank Sedita tells me that they are still waiting for toxicology reports before they decide how to proceed.