Burglary Victim Charged With Reckless Conduct For Firing Gun

FARMINGTON, N.H. (CBS) – A man who caught a suspected burglar in his neighborhood over the weekend now faces criminal charges himself.

It all started Saturday afternoon, when police were called to two homes on Ten Rod Road because someone had broken into them.

Officers found 61-year-old Dennis Fleming holding off the suspect with a handgun.

WBZ-TV’s Lauren Leamanczyk reports

Fleming’s home was one of the two that were robbed.

Twenty-seven-year-old Joseph Hebert was arrested and charged with two counts of burglary.

But it didn’t end there.

Police later found out that Fleming had been looking for Hebert for about half-an-hour after the robbery.

When he caught up with him, Fleming fired a warning shot into the ground.

No one was hurt, but that was enough for police to charge Fleming with reckless conduct for firing his gun in a residential area.

Fleming told WBZ-TV Monday he was wrong to take the law into his own hands.

More from Lauren Leamanczyk
  • 1stackmack

    no was hurt in the warning shot right.what happened to self defense?and above all,this happened in new hampshire.live free or die man ! and they caught the perp.l hope the gun charges are dropped.

  • pam

    you have got to be kidding!! talk about the death of common sense in America!! everyone is o.k…..got the bad guy….is it really that slow a day for the police dept??

  • paul c.

    thumbs up for FLEMING……I wish he was my neighbor in RHODE ISLAND

  • bob

    no harm no foul. and if the stupid charge goes to trial, I how the jurry is bright enough to know about jury nullification.

    did he do it? yes. NOT GUILTY!

  • A NH citizan against burgulars

    What the hell !!! What is wrong with our laws when a homeowner is robbed and he gets charged with a fellony for detaining the robber until police arrive???
    Can’t we legally protect our homes and families?? The robber is lucky he is alive, if I caught him in my house, I wouldn’t have shot the ground.

    • Dis gusted

      He didn’t detain him at his house. He was running around for a 1/2 hour with a loaded gun before spotting a suspicious person down the road a 1/4 mile away.

      He fired his gun to the left of the robber and into the woods, NOT INTO THE GROUND. He was in a well populated area and it’s illegal to hunt or discharge a gun in town.

  • Baxter M

    Home robberies are spiking right now and I was just hit a few weeks back. Guy hit while I was getting groceries, I called within the hour, Andover had arrested him for a registration violation, but by the time they realized he was the robber, he was out on bail, had pawned all the stuff and stolen his car out of impound. The inquiry to the police resulted in a “nothing we can do”

    After how many “nothing we can do”‘s do these guys expect citizens to say OK nothing anyone can do either then?

    If you watched this detective who looks like a college kid at a bar with a sox hat describe how “anyone” who lived there could have been hurt by this guy wrecklessly shooting a warning shot into the ground.you know it sounded like non-sense.

    This is what makes me think cops are clowns. The worst of em will beat a person in custody and accidentally “lose” the video, while the best of them will arrest a guy who essentially did their job for them.

    Someone could have been hurt? That was true with or without the guy, but they weren’t detective someone was not hurt, they were, however, actually caught. Even given the result, the cops would rather do it themselves even if that means someone could have been caught and someone actually hurt, but instead someone was actually caught and no one hurt so we’re arresting people.

    A simple thank you for doing my job is all that is required Serpico, then jump back in your vehicle and continue to raise revenues by pulling over out of state motorists.

  • Christine

    Fleming was honest and sincere about what he did, why he did it and how he was feeling at the moment. Fleming could have easily shot the thief and came up with a story of self defense. Fleming even went on to say how apologetic the thief was probably not even realizing that of course the thief was apologetic….he had a gun pointing at him. Laws are laws are laws…we get it, but I praise Fleming for having the guts and courage to stand up to this low life!!!

  • Frank

    I’d like to shake his hand too!

  • EXFED4

    While the creeps in the Whitehouse steal our grandchildren blind and our Attorney General files suit against any state that tries to protect itself from the millions of illegal aliens who suck our social services dry, we can at least be thankful that police in New Hampshire have been trained to make any arrest that will generate income.

  • james standall

    Sounds like the Farmington Police Department is a bunch of pansies. Probably running home to cry to momma by now.

    There are good police officers, but sounds like Farmington’s are worthless. An arthritic dog would be a better defense than calling 911.

  • beltman713

    I think they will end up dropping the charges. It would be just too much bad publicity to put a 61 year old man in jail for stopping a robber, without anyone getting hurt.

  • usasteve

    If you think about it, Fleming was a little out of line. He should definitely have called the police before arming himself and scouting the neighborhood. That said, he did what he did and admitted he was out of line. Still, he caught the bad guy, held him for police, no one was hurt and the bad guy won’t get a chance to break into hard working folks homes again. BUT, to charge Flemming with a felony is so far out of the box it’s not even funny. The prosecutor better take a long, hard look at this one before he tries to take this ridiculous charge before a jury. Seriously, how many New Hampshire residents do you think would vote to convict this guy – not one. It’s egg on the faces of the entire Farmington police department – they ought to be ashamed of themselves. Fleming will be acquitted if he is even charged. Besides all that – what ever happened to “innocent until proven guilty”? Where do the police get off confiscating an innocent man’s guns? The whole thing is beyond belief. This country is going to hell in a hand-basket.

    • bob

      I thought about it. He wasn’t out of line at all.

    • Dis gusted

      Fleming KNEW the burglar. He could have just called 911 and told them who robbed him and who robbed his neighbor. He spent 1/2 hour looking for the guy. This is the type of vigilante NH does not need and we don’t want.

    • Chuck

      I thought about it too; your a moron!

      • usasteve

        Judging by this comment and your use of the English language, it doesn’t seem to me that you’re capable of thought.

  • http://thinkliberty.net/?p=33 Gun Control: The jackboots are at it again. | Think Liberty

    […] (CBS) […]

  • Thom Copp
  • Chuck

    This is why people HATE the government. This guy should get a citizenship award, not arrested. BTW police, give him his guns back. Morons!!!

  • theskeptical1

    So Mr.Fleming was arrested and charged with “reckless conduct”.

    Well whoever it was in the Farmington Police Department who made the decision to arrest him should be indicted for FELONIOUS STUPIDITY IN THE FIRST DEGREE!

  • http://boston.cbslocal.com/2012/02/23/charges-dropped-against-nh-man-who-fired-gun-to-stop-burglar/ Charges Dropped Against NH Man Who Fired Gun To Stop Burglar « CBS Boston

    […] N.H. (CBS) – Charges have been dropped against a New Hampshire man who captured a man who robbed his home this past […]

  • Dusty

    Simple logic and common sense says the police made a really bad call.
    Whatever happened to logic and common sense it is rarely used any more.

  • Deb

    stupid to fire a gun at anyone because the homeowner was not in danger

    • Robin

      He did not fire it at anyone. He fired it into the ground. Dolt.

  • Katilyn Baston

    For one look at you people and try to judge I guarantee you all have a misguided relative that has problems I Dont agree With What my Husband Joseph Hebert Did, And Yes he was wrong He should Of never broke iin to flemmings house. He does have a problem and no im not making up excuses for him but hed never hurt a fly he is not a danger to society He did wrong but hed never Physically hurt someone Just because Hes not like that Even if the guy caught him without a gun He would of still stayed and faced what he did He wouldnt fight off nor run. But the sad part about all this is you all are praising a man who is said to be deffending his neiborhood When only he was Trying to get back the marijuanna my husband took from his house the ounce of Marijuanna That flemming took back before the cops could get there but of course everything else was left found on my husband And this grandfather who was either selling or smoking the marijuanna got his drugs back but of course what drug dealer wouldnt have a gun to protct his product. So before you all are so quick to judge my husband this hero you all call is a fraud. So how bout you all keep your comments to yourself since none of you really know what happen.

    • Matt

      Katilyn Baston FTW! Katilyn if you ever get impregnated by Joseph please go directly to your friendly neighborhood planned parenthood and ask for the Sanger scramble.

  • Dan Cooper

    A perfect case for Jury Nullification.

  • usasteve

    Katilyn – Very brave of you to make this comment – and YES, there is certainly more to this than what has been reported – However, it’s NO excuse for a B&E under any circumstances. unemployment might be very high at this time in our country and globally but it’s NO excuse for breaking into someone’s house and stealing – no matter WHAT it was that was stolen. A thief is a thief and baby, you married the wrong guy.

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