Swords Will Cut You Wide Open

As this burglar discovered the hard way.
Of course, this happening in Maryland requires the following bit of hand-wringing:

Authorities are determining whether the student will face criminal charges, Guglielmi said.

He’d better not. According to the CNN article,

Police did not release the name of the suspect, who Guglielmi said had a long criminal history, or that of the student.
The burglary suspect had been released from prison Saturday, Guglielmi said.


Burglars had taken two laptops and a Sony PlayStation from the students’ home Monday[…]

Student with a sword has three witnesses, presumably a police report documenting Monday’s burglaries, and the burglar has a long list of priors. Sounds open-and-shut to me.
I can’t imagine the horrible mess that a sword-stricken burglar, suddenly sans left hand, would leave in one’s apartment. I can only hope the cops left the students a sponge.
Update: More information from the Baltimore Sun and the AP. Evidently the bad guy was a habitual criminal.

4 thoughts on “Swords Will Cut You Wide Open”

  1. 1. Can you tell me where you got the template for your firearm identification chart? Because the journalists need one like it for swords, with “Samurai below each picture.
    2. The prior burglaries have no legal relevance, deadly force can’t be used to protect property. Even if he says he’s going to take the rest of your stuff like he did the lat two time- even if he gathers it up and walks out with it.
    The lunge is enough, whether there was never a crime there in the past or there were a hundred last week.

  2. staghounds: I found the identification chart on Fark.com in one of the occasional gun threads. I am not its original author, nor do I know who they are. If you find out, let me know so I can credit them accordingly.
    As for the previous burglaries, I mentioned that as it further emphasizes that the burglar was, in my opinion, up to no good. Of course, one’s criminal history has no bearing on whether or not lethal force is necessary in a particular encounter; on that point I agree completely with you.

  3. Problem is, the incident happened in a detached garage and they guy had to come downstairs to get there after hearing a noise. MD law REQUIRES an attempt to retreat. I bet the guy does get charged.

  4. The guy came down to investigate a suspicious noise. I’m pretty sure the law doesn’t say one need retreat from a suspicious noise, merely that one attempt to retreat if possible when confronted with an attacker.
    I can’t blame the student for taking a weapon to investigate the noise — this was Baltimore, after all.
    My guess (and that’s all it is, a guess based on what I’ve read) is that the student saw the burglar, said something along the lines of “Hey, get out of here! I’m calling the cops!”, and the burglar lunged at him. Since he wasn’t under attack prior to the lunge, he’d have no reason to retreat…and once the bad guy lunged, there was no opportunity to do so.
    While there are a few states with “duty to retreat” laws, I’ve not really heard of any above-board incidents where the defender got charged for not retreating. I seem to recall a few borderline cases of self-defense, but this doesn’t seem to be that way.
    Also, I’m curious what the states think that a “duty to retreat” law would do to protect public safety? Why enact such a law in the first place?

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