One Florida sheriff has a simple plan to keep the community safe and cut tax bills: Shoot criminals on sight.
Last week Santa Rosa County deputies arrested Brandon J. Harris, who was shot at by a homeowner after he spent nearly an hour prowling a neighborhood in middle of the afternoon.
Harris was eventually caught leaping out of a bedroom window of a home he had broken into, covered in cuts from climbing fences.
“Probably 20 deputies get there, the dogs are out, and he’s jumping fences and breaking into houses as he goes,” said Santa Rosa County Sheriff Bob Johnson. “One of the homeowners, he was breaking into their house, and they shot at him. So he continues to run, we finally corner him in a house that he broke into on Tom Sawyer and we cornered him in a bedroom.”
Harris now faces seven charges including assault, burglary and resisting arrest.
Johnson noted it was not their first encounter with Harris. “Our first interaction with this individual came when he was 13 years old. Since then, he’s had like 17 arrests,” said Johnson.
“Harris had pre-existing charges of aggravated assault, battery and violation of probation. Harris is also registered as a high-risk sex offender,” the Pensacola News Journal reports.
Johnson made clear he had enough with career criminal terrorizing residents, and encouraged residents to fight crime by shooting back.
“If somebody is breaking into your house, you’re more than welcome to shoot at them in Santa Rosa County. We prefer that you do actually,” said Johnson in a press conference. “We have a gun safety class we put on every other Saturday and if you take that you’ll shoot a lot better and hopefully save taxpayer’s money.”
The homeowner who shot at Harris was never identified, and Johnson made clear he or she is not in any legal trouble. Under Florida law “a person who is in a dwelling or residence in which the person has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and use or threaten to use.”
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of AmericanActionNews.com