Homeowner and neighbors
Originally ran here
Armed Neighbors Corner Unarmed Robbery Suspect
By Jeremy Pawloski
Albuquerque Journal Staff Writer
Wednesday, May 16, 2001
An intruder allegedly tried to rob a home in
Santa Fe on Monday afternoon and wound up cornered by its 20-year-old occupant
and two neighbors armed with handguns.
Carl Gallegos, 20, helped his two neighbors
apprehend the intruder after finding him in his family's home in the Bellamah
subdivision, Gallegos said Tuesday.
Samuel John Fernandez, 29, of Santa Fe, was
charged with burglary after his arrest Monday, Santa Fe Police Department
spokesman Capt. Rick Smith said Tuesday.
Fernandez was unarmed when police arrested him,
Gallegos said he heard his dogs barking about
4:30 p.m. and went to the living room to investigate. He found an intruder,
who'd walked in through an unlocked door, standing there.
"I was frightened," Gallegos said.
"I was, I think, more shocked than anything."
Gallegos went to a back room to grab a baseball
bat, he said. When he returned, the intruder went in another direction inside
the home and Gallegos left for a neighbor's house.
Gallegos said he and the neighbor returned to
the house. The neighbor brought a handgun with him, he said.
The intruder ran out the back door, jumped a
fence and attempted to hide behind a storage shed at the home of the neighbor
who was following him with the gun, Gallegos said.
The neighbor's father then went into his own
back yard, armed with a phone and a handgun, told the intruder to "get on
the floor," and called police, Gallegos said.
Gallegos said the man appeared to be under the
influence of alcohol or drugs.
"He was bigger than me," Gallegos
said of the man who walked into his home. "I didn't run into (Shaquille
O'Neal) or anything, but he was bigger than I was."
On Tuesday, Fernandez had been released from
the Santa Fe County jail on bail, according to a jail spokeswoman. The amount
wasn't available due to computer problems, she said.
Gallegos' father, Albert Gallegos, said Tuesday
that the neighborhood is usually quiet.
Smith said police generally recommend that if a
suspect enters a home, an occupant should leave.
"Get out and don't go back," Smith
The neighbor who went back into Gallegos' home
with a gun "took a risk," Smith added.
KABA NOTE #1 -- Captain Rick Smith telling
citizens to turn over their homes to intruders says quite a bit about his
character. What a leader they have in Santa Fe.
KABA NOTE #2 -- It's most enlightening to see
the Journal's title of this story: "Armed Neighbors Corner Unarmed Robbery
Suspect." Are we to think that the armed citizens capturing an unarmed
intruder should also disarm, to somehow equalize the playing field? That
intruder is lucky he's alive, and had he been captured inside a less patient
person's home, he wouldn't be.
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