Do they really want to convict this good Samaritan?

I understand how the person whose place was broken into must feel, but would convicting this guy really create the right incentives for neighbors in future cases? Possibly the solution is that the person with the DVD shouldn't have had the volume turned up so high? May be the neighbor can follow the lead in this story I posted on earlier.

OCONOMOWOC, Wis. — A sword-wielding Wisconsin man broke into his neighbor's apartment thinking he was chivalrous after hearing the cries of a woman he thought was in peril — but instead, she was in porn.

James Van Iveren was in his Oconomowoc apartment listening to music when he heard loud cries from a woman he thought was pleading for help, reported the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. The 39-year-old grabbed a cavalry sword, a family heirloom, and rushed upstairs to forcibly open the quarters of an upstairs tenant he barely knew.

"It was a woman screaming," Van Iveren said of the Feb. 12 incident. "She was screaming for help."

Bret Stieghorst told police that he was watching a pornographic DVD when Van Iveren kicked open his door, damaging the frame and lock in the process, with a 39-inch blade in hand.

Stieghorst said Van Iveren demanded "Where is she?" while thrusting the sword at him.

The neighbor told police Van Iveren became increasingly aggressive as he repeated the question, insisting that he had heard a woman being raped. The complaint said that, with the sword pointed at him, the neighbor led Van Iveren throughout the apartment, opening closet doors to prove he was alone. . . .

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Anonymous Trip said...

The hero in your story has had brushes with the law in the past, including for threatening to kill his own mother, and physically abusing her

2/22/2007 5:25 PM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear Trip:

These references are not clear to me, but, in any case, it is a pretty funny story. I am sure that this wasn't true for the person whose apartment was broken into.

2/25/2007 5:33 PM  

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