Property owner shoots
assailant in self-defense
Originally ran here
"Columbia man claims self-defense, shoots man in yard four times
June 19, 2001, WISTV.com
Richard Patterson, a professional painter who's reproduced the likenesses of
such local luminaries as South Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice David
Harwell, is a homeowner unafraid to confront trouble.
Patterson lives on a three acre wooded lot
behind Providence Hospital. Sunday night as he got ready for bed Patterson says
he heard a strange noise and then saw a stranger in his yard, "I was, I was
scared. I'd be lying if I told you I wasn't."
Patterson says he yelled at the stranger to
stop, "He wouldn't stop. He just turned around and fired at me. ... I heard
the bullet go by my ear, and so I returned the fire." In the front yard of
his home Patterson pulled out his .38 revolver and shot the stranger four times.
It's not the first time for Patterson. On two
previous occasions over the last eight years, he shot intruders. Both survived
and Patterson has never been charged, because, he says, he's done nothing wrong,
"I'm going to obey the law every time I get a chance."
South Carolina law allows for people to use
weapons to protect themselves. According to the National Rifle association,
every year across the nation between 600,000 and a million people either show or
fire a weapon in self defense.
Rick Daniel, president of Gun Owners of South
Carolina, says Patterson's case is extreme, but shows the need for gun
Richard Patterson was handcuffed and taken to
the police station Sunday night, but only after he refused to give up his gun.
It's not clear if Patterson will be charged with anything or not. Police say
they are still investigating this case and trying to determine if the stranger
was in fact breaking into homes and if Patterson broke the law somehow.
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KABA NOTE: The police can
investigate all they want to -- if the man was fired upon on his own property,
he was within his rights and will not be charged. South
Carolina's Attorney General is a pro-self-defense American.