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Whatsit
July 30, 2005, 10:17 PM
An interesting story...

http://www.pennlive.com/news/patrio...ll=1&thispage=3


Neighbors Unite to Chase Intruder
Saturday, July 30, 2005
BY REGGIE SHEFFIELD
Of The Patriot-News

Eric Webb was sitting at his computer in his Green Street home Wednesday night reading an Internet story about Chelsea Clinton when he heard footsteps downstairs.

Within minutes, he and several neighbors would be chasing the source of those footsteps down the street.

"As soon as I figured out that it wasn't my roommate, I immediately grabbed my pistol, cocked it and drew a bead on him," Webb said.

Webb aimed his .40-caliber Walther P99 at the chest of a man standing in the hallway outside of his upstairs bedroom, holding what looked like a knife.

Webb's roommate, Will Danowski, lay asleep downstairs on the couch, unaware of the drama playing itself out a floor above his head.

Webb yelled to Danowski, who promptly woke up and dialed 911.

Moving closer, Webb kicked the intruder part way down the stairs, causing the man, who claimed he wasn't "doing anything," to lose his shoes.

"Can I at least have my shoes back?" Webb said the man asked him.

"No, dude. I'm going to shoot you. Get out of my house," Webb said to the intruder.

The man went out the door, leaving behind his shoes, a bottle of rum, some change he had gathered and Webb with his gun.

Neighbor Eric Battisti saw the man coming down the street.

"I'm standing on the corner, stretching out after a run with my wife, and a gentleman comes walking down the street -- no shoes -- walking towards me," Battisti said.

"At that point the gentleman brandished the knife and started to run towards myself," he said.

Battisti backed away from the man, who took off at a brisk pace.

But soon Battisti was in pursuit, along with Webb, who had handed off his gun to a neighbor's wife, and another neighbor, Matt Simmons.

The group followed the intruder up Green Street from a safe distance, eventually persuading him to drop the knife -- which turned out to be a cheese spreader -- before police arrived.

Police have charged David G. Weigher, 48, of the 1500 block of North Second Street, with the break-in. He is being held in the Dauphin County Prison on burglary and public drunkenness charges.

Simmons said the incident underscores the need for neighbors to watch out for one another.

Midtown has been plagued by a rash of burglaries in the past month.

Last week, city police arrested several juveniles they said were involved with a series of shootings and burglaries, and Simmons said he sees the police more than he used to.

Almost everyone he encounters either knows someone whose home has been broken into or has been a victim himself, Simmons said.

"The neighborhood has become much more involved and has become much more organized to kind of protect themselves," Simmons said.

City spokesman Randy King cautioned residents to lock their doors and watch their windows.

"Perhaps if the region were to stop its long-standing practice of dumping every social misfit on our streets, the justice system were to actually keep people in jail for the crimes we arrested them for, and parents would actually keep an eye on their kids and exercise control over them, we'd have far fewer of these problems," King said.

Webb said he got really upset only after the intruder had left his house.

"If I didn't have the gun, I don't know what I would have done," he said.

"In this case it did me well. It saved me," he said.

REGGIE SHEFFIELD: 255-8170 or rsheffield@patriot-news.com



2005 The Patriot-News
2005 PennLive.com All Rights Reserved.

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RevDisk
July 30, 2005, 10:40 PM
Heh. That's not too far from my place. Good to see neighbors helping each other.

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