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Homeowner Hogties Burglar After Chase, Will Not Be Charged

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By Andrew Chow, Esq. on December 05, 2011 8:18 AM

An Ohio man will not face charges for chasing down an alleged burglar and taking the law into his own hands. The homeowner hogtied the burglar -- after recognizing him as a neighbor.

Homeowner William Stanley called 911 last week to report not one, but two break-ins at his home near Athens, Ohio, WBNS-TV reports.

Deputies arrived and found the home empty. A few minutes later, Stanley pulled up in his car -- with the alleged burglar hogtied in the back seat.

Stanley told deputies someone broke in to his home and stole video gaming systems earlier in the day. The thief apparently came back for seconds later that night.

Stanley caught the thief red-handed. He also recognized the guy as a well-known troublemaker in his rural neighborhood.

"He recognized him, chased him up into the woods, couldn't find him there," Athens County Sheriff Pat Kelly told WBNS-TV. "I think he knew where he lives, so he went to the residence and subdued him."

You can watch the sheriff's interview in this report by the Associated Press:

Sheriff Kelly cited the "castle doctrine" as the reason he's not pressing charges against Stanley for taking the law into his own hands.

The "castle doctrine," on the books in more than 30 states, gives a home's occupants the right to use force -- including deadly force -- to defend their home from an intruder, without facing criminal or civil charges. Its name is derived from the old adage that a man's home is his "castle."

For the doctrine to work, the intruder must be acting illegally, and the home's occupants must not have provoked the situation. Sheriff Kelly says that's exactly the situation in Stanley's case.

Authorities are not identifying the homeowner's hogtied burglar, pending a grand jury indictment. The man is expected to face charges of felony burglary.

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