Polk County, Florida Sheriff Grady Judd says no charges are expected after a woman shot and killed a man trying to break into her home with a tire iron early Saturday morning.
“You have a right to protect yourself in your home and be free from home invaders, armed burglars and certainly he was armed with a tire iron making an attempt to come in through the window,” Judd said. “She stopped him. She stopped him permanently.”
According to the sheriff, the incident began after two couples went out for a night on the town Friday evening. Around 4 a.m. Saturday morning, the four returned to the home of one of the women when an argument broke out between the other woman and her boyfriend. Eventually, the two men left the home and their girlfriends, but returned a couple of hours later.
The man who’d gotten into a fight with his girlfriend began banging on the front door and yelling to be let inside, but the women in the home didn’t respond. Instead of leaving, the suspect decided to escalate the situation.
Judd said the other man tried getting him to leave, but he refused and retrieved a tire iron from a car. He used it to break a window and tear through a screen The woman who owns the home then shot him dead. She and the man’s girlfriend were the only people inside the home at the time, Judd said.
According to Fox 13 in Tampa, authorities identified the would-be intruder as 34-year old Joshua Mathieu, whose criminal record stretches back a decade and includes arrests for multiple accounts of battery, burglary, and disorderly conduct.
“This is another incidence where you just should have left,” Judd said. “But when you came back to the house, that’s not your home and you tried to break in to get a girlfriend who did not want to go with you that was a bad choice and it was the last bad choice he’ll make.”
It sounds like Joshua Mathieu made several bad choices over the past decade, including the decision to return to the house where his girlfriend was staying. He could have simply gone home to sleep, and maybe the argument would have been forgotten about when he woke up. Instead, he threatened violence against the women inside the residence, attempted to use force to gain entry, and suffered the consequences when the woman inside opened fire in self-defense.