Florida Official Shoots Alleged Intruder Who Was Fleeing From Police

December 31, 2018 Updated: December 31, 2018
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A Florida official shot a man who entered his house after the man crashed his car into a nearby home while fleeing from police officers.

The situation started late on Dec. 27 when Palmetto police officers spotted Avelino Misreal Vasquez-Perez driving recklessly.

They believed he was driving under the influence and attempted to pull him over.

But the suspect sped away. He crashed a few blocks later into a home on Fourth Street West.

He and his passenger fled and officers soon caught the passenger. The shooting happened after Vasquez-Perez scaled a fence into the backyard of Palmetto Commissioner Brain Williams’s backyard. He then broke into the garage, trying to hide from the police.

Williams’s daughter, who lives next door, saw the suspect and called her father. He armed himself and heard Vasquez-Perez trying to enter the kitchen. The suspect then pushed Williams and tried punching him, prompting Williams to shoot him, police said.

“Essentially, he confronted this individual at the point when he tried going from the garage into the kitchen. Into the living area of the home. Mr. Williams told him, stop, put your hands up, get down, while his daughter is on the phone with police,” Palmetto Chief of Police Scott Tyler, according to WFLA.

“We find it was lawful, it was proper, it is self-defense. He’s in his own home. He’s in his kitchen. Basically, defending from someone coming in the kitchen, so he’s got a right and he’s got a responsibility to defend his home and his family and he did that.”

Police said Williams won’t face criminal charges.

“We have to do what we have to do to defend our home and our family. If you don’t have a firearm you pick up a heavy object and fight and that’s what he did,” said Tyler, reported Fox 13.

Vasquez-Perez then took off running but later surrendered to the police and was rushed to a nearby hospital to undergo surgery. He’s expected to recover.

“I am glad that everything turned out the way it did. I guess he is doing OK and we are happy and glad that no one in my family was hurt,” Williams told the Miami Herald.

Vasquez-Perez faces charges of resisting arrest without violence, burglary, battery, and traffic citations.

Cassie Jalanopoulos, who also lives in the area, said that Vasquez-Perez ran toward his home.

“I heard quite a few noises. There was scratching and banging, several bangs actually,” Jalanopoulos told Bay News.

“I certainly didn’t want anybody coming through [my] back door. That’s why I ran to the backyard to lock it because I saw him coming towards me. I’m glad he didn’t come through my door, because who knows what I would have done to him.”

Crime Decreased in 2017

The FBI said that both violent crime and property crime decreased in 2017 compared to 2016. Overall violent crime decreased 0.2 percent from 2016 to last year, while property crime decreased 3 percent during that time, the agency said in September, releasing data from the previous year.

“There were more than 1.2 million violent crimes reported to UCR nationwide in 2017. There was a 0.7 percent decrease in murders and a 4 percent decrease in robberies from 2016 to 2017. Aggravated assaults increased 1 percent in 2017. The FBI began collecting data solely on an updated rape definition last year, and 135,755 rapes were reported to law enforcement in 2017,” the FBI stated.

“The report also showed there were more than 7.7 million property crimes last year. Burglaries decreased 7.6 percent and larceny-thefts decreased 2.2 percent. Motor vehicle thefts increased 0.8 percent from 2016 to 2017.”

The figures were compiled from more than 13,000 law enforcement agencies around the United States that submitted their crime data to the FBI.

From NTD News

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber