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.