Massachusetts Man Faces Assault Charges After Firing Weapon To Protect His Business From Intruder

In Massachusetts, a Hanover caterer who fired a gun at an intruder is being charged with assault with a deadly weapon and discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling. David Crest is scheduled to appear in court for his arraignment next week.

Crest had been sleeping in the office of his catering business when he heard a noise on April 21. He was watching out for a possible intruder because he had already been robbed of thousands of dollars worth of food, alcohol, and equipment.

When he found the intruder-John F. O’Connor, who was the head chef and inventory store clerk of Crest’s business-Crest says fired his Mossberg 500 12-gauge shotgun in warning to protect his property. He aimed two of the bullets at O’Connor’s tires as he tried to escape.

Police, however, says that Crest should not have fired the gun or tried to take the law into his own hands. Crest, on the other hand, says he has the right to defend his property.

Crest says he has an active firearms license. Police, however, decided to file criminal charges against him because he fired his weapon in a neighborhood, shot the bullets in the direction of a man who was not armed, and did not take into consideration the possibility that others might get hurt.

Crest’s Massachusetts criminal defense attorney says that his client has every right to protect himself and his property and that he used reasonable force. Crest was also not reportedly aware that O’Connor was unarmed. He was also uncertain as to whether there were other accomplices on the premise.

As for O’Connor, he was arrested after Crest alerted police. He has been charged with larceny and breaking and entering.

Was it self-defense or firearms offense?, Boston Globe, May 15, 2008
Hanover caterer armed with a 12-gauge shotgun stops burglar, Patriot Ledger, April 24, 2008

Related Web Resources:

The General Laws of Massachusetts

Assault, Justia
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