The Tacoma Tribune had a little blurb story about a gentleman that could face charges for manslaughter for defending his property. The details were sketchy, but it sounds like a 67-year old man confronted a 23-year old who was trying to steal the outboard motor off his boat. In the physical action that followed, the younger man ended up dying of asphyxiation.
No real tears on my part. Young punk was trying to steal something, got caught, got his ass kicked by a man over 40 years older than him, and died of embarrassment. It started a slow rage-burn on my part, at the thought that there is even a chance that the gentleman could end up facing charges for defending his property. Curious, I went searching for more details, and was not happy with what I found in the Everett Herald.
Charge may be filed in death of suspected thief
Things look a little darker for the hero of our story in this article, which has slightly more detail. The Sheriff's Department has completed their investigation and is forwarding it to the Prosecutor's Office with a recommendation to press charges.
We also have a quote from the 67-year old man:
"I was scared to death he was going to get up," he told The Herald the day after the confrontation. "Truthfully, I'm not fighting. I'm hanging on ... I hung on because I was scared."
Well, to me, he is at least saying the right thing. Once a fight has gone this far, you can't let the other guy up. I'm not sure how the 67-year old got the jump on the far younger guy in the first place, but you can't let go of that advantage. If this punk was truly up to no good...well, one of you is NOT walking away from this situation.
The only question to really ask here, is was the outboard motor worth confronting this guy about in the first place. A brand new Mercury 9-15 HP outboard is gonna cost you about $3000 to replace. That's not a drop in the bucket, especially if you are a 67-year old on a potentially fixed income. I think it is worth confronting the thief, and if things get physical, you fight to win.
I hope the Prosecutor makes the right decision here, but if charges are pressed, I will do what I can to help donate to a defence fund on the 67-year old gentleman's behalf.