Jesse R. Daniels, age 53, has a right to be a bit confused. He heard vandals destroying his father-in-law’s house that they were remodeling next door in the Village of Clyde. He told his wife to call police and he ran over and confronted the intruders. He found four young boys with hammers who destroyed the interior and forced them into a closet until police arrived. The parents of the vandals insisted on charging Daniels who was arraigned last week on charges of endangering the young boys who caused an estimated $50,000 in damage to the home.
One of the boys reportedly was upset because Daniels’ wife yelled at them that morning to stay out of their yard. Daniels says that one of the boys said that his mother told them to come over in retaliation, though that is not in the police report. They threw paint on the walls, broke cupboards and fixtures, and punched holes in the walls before Daniels stopped them.
The four boys are all related and aged 8 and 10. The words “cunt” and “bitch” were painted on the walls — believed to be references to Daniels’ wife for yelling at them.
Daniels was charged with four counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child. His charge is based on threatening the boys with a hammer if they tried to get out before the police arrived. He did not strike any kid. The parents of the vandals reportedly admitted that they trashed the house but insisted on Daniels being charged. The kids face charges of Felony Burglary in the 2nd Degree and Felony Criminal Mischief in the 2nd Degree.
The thing I find curious about this charge is that any homeowner would have to threaten vandals to some degree to get them to remain in a home waiting for police. Presumably, he could have grabbed them against their will and exercised some physical force. While you cannot protect property with lethal force or force calculated to due serious bodily harm, homeowners are allowed to defend their property and themselves. In this case, it is unlikely that these vandals would simply stand around if Daniels said “I have a hammer, but I am not going to use it.”
What do you think is the appropriate standard in such cases?
Source: Wayne Times