By Mike Sherman
We have discussed this before. It happens: You protect yourself but end up under arrest.
Direct from the news this week:
A 64-year-old New York state man who fatally shot a pair of prowlers rooting through his home Tuesday afternoon reportedly ended up in handcuffs after police said the weapon he used in self-defense was illegally owned.
Ronald A. Stolarczyk was charged with felony possession of an illegal handgun, New York State Police said in a news release.
At about 2:40 p.m., officials say Stolarczyk interrupted a man and woman burglarizing his home in Deerfield, New York, located about four hours north of New York City. Stolarczyk then shot the two suspects, according to police.
But the 64-year-old was later arrested after authorities said they determined the handgun used in the shooting was illegally owned.
One of the alleged burglars, identified by state police as 57-year-old Patricia Anne Talerico of Utica, was pronounced dead at the scene. The second alleged intruder, 27-year-old Nicholas Talerico of Utica, was transported to a hospital and died of his injuries.
Authorities said the investigation into the incident is ongoing.
The news article above is vague, lacking in any specific details other than “2 people shot, 1 man arrested.” I thought there had to be more to this story so I did a little digging and here is what I came up with:
Posted: May 29, 2019 2:16 PM
Updated: May 29, 2019 3:04 PM
Posted By: WKTV
UTICA, N.Y. – The mugshots of the two people killed after an alleged attempted robbery in Deerfield have been released – meaning they both had a criminal history. Authorities are also investigating if the intruders had been in the house prior to Tuesday afternoon.
The incident on Walker Road turned deadly after the homeowner, 64-year-old Ronald Stolarczyk, shot and killed Patricia Anne Talerico, 57, and her nephew Nicholas Talerico, 27, after they entered his home.
Police found items belonging to Stolarczyk in another home Tuesday night. Oneida County District Attorney Scott McNamara says police are trying to determine if the two robbed Stolarczyk’s home about a week ago.
“A truckload of evidence was seized last night. At this point, we have to determine whether or not that was evidence that had been taken from this residence on a prior occasion,” McNamara said.
The Oneida County Sheriff’s Office released past booking photos of Patricia and Nicholas, saying that both have criminal records.
Patricia Talerico had been arrested more than 20 times in the past, and Nicholas Talerico was arrested on more than one occasion.
Both suspects were Utica residents, although they lived at different addresses.
Stolarczyk is facing charges for using his deceased father’s gun to kill the two, which he never registered to himself. He is currently being held at the Oneida County Jail.
WKTV will have more information as soon as it becomes available.
So, now we know there is more to the story. You might be asking the question,”What does this have to do with safety & security for RVers?” Well, you return to your campsite and discover people inside your RV ripping you off. What would you do? If you are armed, would you shoot them? I can’t determine if the suspects were armed but it does not matter. They could arm themselves quickly with items in the home and use it against you.
If you are unarmed, your best bet is to back off. However, even if you are armed, you might consider before you take offensive action. Remember how I speak about each situation requires its own custom reaction? And we know you will rely on your life experiences, fear factors and a host of other emotions.
There are still a lot of unanswered questions concerning this shooting. On the surface, it appears unfair that the homeowner is in jail when he was the victim. However, if the suspects immediately tried to flee (as opposed to attacking) and you advanced towards them, even inside your own home, then you might have some legal problems. Perhaps the authorities are using the gun charge as a preliminary factor and he will face additional charges after further investigation.
Without having all the facts, would you care to come to any conclusions?
Note: We know what we discuss in this column may be controversial. While we invite your polite, constructive comments, inflammatory remarks will be immediately deleted.
Mike Sherman is a retired street cop and investigator with 30+ years of RV experience as a traveler, camp host and all-around advocate for the joys of living on the road. His articles are for general discussion purposes only – you should always consult your local authorities or legal counsel for specific answers if necessary. Write him at [email protected] if you have questions, or leave a comment below.
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