A homeowner in Florida is likely to face criminal charges after firing into an occupied vehicle that had been parked on the street outside his home, and which fled when he approached. The people inside the vehicle were not criminals, but were instead a couple of teenagers playing the hottest new video game, Pokemon Go.
Authorities say a Florida man fired shots at two late-night “Pokemon Go” players in a car outside his house but no one was injured.
Flagler County Sheriff’s Office spokesman James Troiano says in a news release that the homeowner awoke to a noise outside about 1:30 a.m. Saturday and saw a car sitting in the road in front of his house. He told authorities he got a handgun and approached the vehicle.
Troiano says the two teens in the car sped away and the man fired several shots at them.
Later that morning, he says, the mother of one of the teens called the sheriff’s office when they realized the car had a flat tire and several bullet holes in it. She told officials the two had been playing the smartphone app.
According to the story, the teens were in the car on a public street. They did not leave the vehicle, were not even trespassing, and clearly weren’t committing any sort of felony. They only action they took was when a person approached them with a handgun in the dark, and that action was to flee. As they left, this homeowner opened fire on them, striking the vehicle.
An idling car on the street outside your home does not come close to the minimum legal threshold for discharging a weapon. A car attempting to drive away from you does not come close to the minimum legal threshold for discharging a weapon. You may only discharge your weapon if you or a third party you are attempting to protect are in immediate mortal danger (yes, I’m aware that Texas allows homeowners to shoot at people for certain property crimes under certain conditions; those laws wouldn’t apply here either).
Frankly, this homeowner deserves to have two charges of attempted murder filed against him.
There is no excuse for this kind of behavior, and I sincerely hope that the local prosecutor throws the book at him.