ST. GEORGE – An attempted burglary was derailed when a homeowner caught the burglar at gunpoint and held him until the police arrived.
The homeowner, Eric Martin, of St. George, said the intruder had rummaged through and ransacked part of the house when he entered the bedroom where Martin and his wife were.
Martin said the silhouette of the man initially gave the impression he could have been his wife’s ex-husband. He said the ex-husband was physically violent toward his wife in the past and thought he had managed to break into the home. Martin reacted by rolling off the side of the bed and grabbing a firearm on the nightstand so he could confront the intruder.
The intruder was not the individual Martin initially suspected, but rather was a 30-year-old St. George man with no prior connection to the family. The intruder complied with Martin’s orders to lie on the ground and not move until the police arrived and took him into custody. The man was arrested on counts of theft and burglary.
Police said the man gained access to the home through an unlocked door.
Martin said he has had previous firearms training, though added there’s no way of knowing how you might react to a situation until you actually face it.
“You have to be in that situation to understand,” he said.
Sgt. Sam Despain, St. George Police, said the police feel Martin acted appropriately and lawfully under the circumstances.
“He was well within his rights,” Despain said. “He has a right to protect his life and property.”
Ed. Note: Persons arrested are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.
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