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Professional Ax Thrower Thwarts Burglars With Tomahawk

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By Aditi Mukherji, JD on November 07, 2013 2:01 PM

A professional ax thrower in California managed to fend off a burglar without Tomahawk-chopping the suspect. Though Robin Irvine certainly had an ax to grind with Nicholas Ulloa when he tried to steal a watch (from her wrist while she was sleeping!), she opted to use words as her weapon -- very colorful words.

Ulloa was ultimately apprehended for burglary and Irvine is more of an ax-wielding rock star than ever.

Tomahawk Spinal Tap: "I Hit What I Aim For"

When Irvine suddenly awoke to the burglar's face, the ax-throwing champion let out a blood-curdling scream and hurled a string of profanities at the intruder. Freaked out, Ulloa immediately took off, reports Southern California's KNBC-TV.

"That's what gave me time to grab ahold of it," she told KNBC-TV of the ax she keeps by her bedside table. "He ran down the hall and I was right behind him."

Clad in her underwear and t-shirt, she gave chase to Ulloa. But she resisted the urge to chuck the ax at the burglar. "I would've gotten him right in the spine or the back of his head," she said. "I hit what I aim for."

Oh snap.

California's Castle Doctrine

If Irvine had given in to the temptation of hurling an ax at Ulloa, it's unclear whether she would have been in legal trouble.

Under California's "castle doctrine," if someone forces his or her way into your home, and you have a "reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily injury," then you would be justified in using deadly force to defend yourself.

Generally, a simple burglary that doesn't create fear of great bodily harm isn't enough to justify deadly force. But if there is genuine fear of imminent danger, not only could you stay and fight, you can even chase your attacker if it will neutralize the threat to your life, reports KQED.

This situation is tricky because Irvine chased Ulloa outside of her house.

"Over a hundred years ago, the California Supreme Court said, 'no duty to retreat if you're in your home,'" UC Hastings Law Professor Rory Little told KQED. "'We're going to leave open whether there's such a duty if you're outside of the home.' That little leaving-open has never been firmly answered by the California Supreme Court."

Watch out Kai the Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker, you've met your match.

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