MANCHESTER, N.H. (CBS) – A New Hampshire man charged with a crime for capturing the man who robbed his home is getting support from around the globe.

Dennis Fleming’s story has been retold all over the country and it was even picked up overseas by the London Daily Mail. The pressure is building on authorities to drop the charge.

“I don’t want to be a poster child for gun advocacy or anything like that,” says Fleming. “It’s not what I’m looking for.”

WBZ-TV’s Lauren Leamanczyk reports

Dennis Fleming may not want to be the poster child, but, gun advocates from all over the county have rallied to his defense.

He’s surprised by the support he’s gotten ever since he tracked down a burglar and fired a warning shot.

“I know it’s touched a nerve with a lot of people. I have people come up at Walmart, and say ‘you did great I saw you on TV’, ‘I saw you in the paper’.”

Those same people are leaning on Tom Velardi, the Strafford County attorney. He’s still trying to decide whether to prosecute Fleming.

Velardi says, “I’m trying to look at what the law says we should be doing, apply some common sense to what the law says we should be doing, and come up with a solution that I think will protect people in Mr. Fleming’s situation as well as the community at large.”

At issue is whether Fleming acted to defend his community or if he put people at risk. The group Gun Owners of New Hampshire is taking donations for his legal defense.

“Mr. Fleming was simply doing a responsible thing,” says Penny Dean of GONH. “He was holding a person he believed to be a burglar for the police and he’s been punished for that.”

Fleming’s not too interested in the politics of the issue. He just doesn’t want to go to prison.

“I’ve got children and grandchildren,” says Fleming. “I don’t want them to think of me as a felon.”

Fleming could be facing four to seven years behind bars. The county attorney tells WBZ he hopes to make a decision on whether to drop the charges within the next couple of days.

Comments (27)
  1. steven sleming says:

    They need to drop all charges against my dad. He did nothing wrong just defending his home and the sorounding neighbours houses. FREE HIM OF ALL CHARGES!!!!!

    1. redneckjoe says:

      i would have done the same thing as dennis did !!!

    2. Indiana says:

      Hang in there Steven. The news has the issue all over the country. The show boat cop will meet his resistance.

  2. Indiana says:

    I cannot believe this is even an issue. The cop shows lack of experience and common sense. Does the cop think that he is the only one in the world trained to use a fire arm? Actually, who picked the hot shot to be a force over people in the first place? Let me know how you big time experts would handle the issue if someone was in your home or attempting to hurt your family? What’s the world comming to? Hang in there Grandpa. Lot’s of people are with you.. Let a burglar pull that crap here, and I’ll be on the news with you.

  3. james ham says:

    hell the guy that broke in should have been shot,stop proticting crimanials.
    my spelling may suck ,but what’s right is right.

    1. rob says:

      This is NH, he could have been legally.

      Why this is a problem I don’t get.

  4. Kris03 says:

    4-7 years in prison for THAT? The police and DA just want to win a case, they dont care about this man’s safety or anyone elses. I surely hope this man gets leinency. I would of done the same thing if I knew someone was trying to break into my house and possibly hurt me or a family member!

    1. Pete says:

      And I bet the burglar gets probation.

      WHat’s wrong with our country?

  5. theskeptical1 says:

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

    But 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>

    1. Kris03 says:

      Couldnt agree anymore!

    2. DownHerein Mass says:

      110% agree – What Mr. Fleming did, anyone in their straight mind would the same thing. Let’s wake up America, before we are taken over by the loonies. This should be dropped immediately. C’mon now wake up NH Law – “Live free or Die”, It’s on the license plate.

  6. 1stackmack says:

    maybe he should’ve shoot the guy instead.he probably would have gotten off for self defence.ln any event all charges hopefully will be dropped.

  7. JCA says:

    Total case of “gun control”. If it was me…I’d have just shot the “perp”. Turn him around and make it look like he was either going in…or running AT me. Case closed.

    1. Cletus says:

      JCA, don’t reproduce. You are too dumb to know what an entrance woumd is.

  8. 357magman says:

    I wonder what Mr. Massaad Ayoob has to say concerning this issue?

    Mr. Flemming is being made into a PC SCAPEGOAT !!!

    Gun Owners of Maine are in Full support of this uncommin HERO !!!

    Practice makes perfect, especially in an Imperfect society !

    Equality of Peace & Love is RKBA ! 357 FOREVER !!!

  9. Annie Logan says:

    Live Free or Die….Mr. Flemming gave the crook a chance..he let him live…so let Flemming Free!!!!

  10. Jim Donovan says:

    Cletus, you question someones intelligence and then misspell wound.
    Let this man be free..he has nothing wrong, but protect his family.
    This country has serious issues, this should not be one of them.

  11. Beegs says:

    Strafford County Attorney Tom Velardi 603-749-2808 Ask to speak to him directly and urge him to drop this.

  12. Jon says:

    It’s crazy to think he would be charged at all. It’s like the burglar has more rights. This country is run by liberal loons.

  13. Bob De says:

    The DA should drop the charges. This is ludicrous.

  14. blackbear1 says:

    Drop these ridiculous charges, please. Why would the DA even want to go there? Just take care of prosecuting the real perps and stop thinking you are on some high moral ground. Mr. Fleming needs to be absolved of any of this ludicrous situation.

  15. Hugo says:

    Why is CBS Boston stating Dennis Fleming fired a warning shot at robber???
    At means at, not a warning. It is my understanding from what I read that he fired into the ground.

  16. jmore says:

    manchester nh = cambridge, mass….

    I can’t believe this was an issue in new hampshire “live free or die”!!!

    sounds like one of those moron DA’s from massachusetts!

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