(Montreal) Shop owner faces assault charge after burglar beaten
Shop owner faces assault charge after burglar beaten
Last Updated Mon, 30 Jun 2003 19:53:00
MONTREAL - A Montreal-area convenience store owner who police say defended his business with an aluminum baseball bat, faces charges of aggravated assault.
Police in Longueuil say the store owner, frustrated at three burglaries in as many weeks, camped out in his store with a friend and a bat Friday night.
At about 3 a.m. Saturday, police say two men entered the store carrying garbage cans. They apparently planned to fill them with cigarettes and cash.
Surprised by the owner, one of the burglars ran away. The other ended up in hospital, having been beaten with blows to the head, chest and legs, said Gaetan Durocher of Longueuil police.
The man is listed in stable condition.
Sid Stevens of Sun Youth, a community organization working to install cameras in stores, says he understands the owner's frustration, but says vigilantism isn't the answer.
"If you use a weapon, chances are very often the thief will use it against you," he said. "I always feel that the price of one's health is worth more than the contents of the till."
The store owner and his friend will be charged with aggravated assault in the next few weeks. Police released them on a promise to appear in court.
"The right of a citizen to bear arms, in the lawful defense of himself or the State, is absolute. He does not derive it from the State government, but directly from the sovereign convention of the people that framed the State government. It is one of the 'high powers' delegated directly to the citizen, and 'is excepted out of the general powers of government.' A law cannot be passed to infringe upon or impair it, because it is above the law, and independent of the law-making power." TX Supreme Court, Cockrum v. State (TX 1859)