When I write about violent home invasions, it usually involves criminals who have set out to commit a robbery, rape, or murder. However not all home invasions are motivated by a desire to commit such a crime, as a recent case from Wauconda, IL shows:
The Wauconda, IL home invasion
Police say that a 49-year-old man and his 15 year old son were trying to pick up the man’s 11-year-old son from a birthday party just after 5:15 PM, but went to the wrong house. The confused homeowners reportedly told the man his son wasn’t there, at which point the man is said to have pushed his way into the house and attacked a woman. After the homeowners repeatedly requested that the man and his son stop attacking and leave, one of the homeowner grabbed his gun and fired in defense of himself and his wife, police say. Both the man and his 15 year old son were hit multiple times, according to police. The man and his son reportedly fled the house but the man collapsed near the driveway, where he was reportedly found by police upon their arrival. The two homeowners and the teenager were treated and released from Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington, police say. The man who allegedly forced his way into the home remains in critical condition in Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, according to police. No charges have yet been filed, police say, because the suspect remains in critical condition with life-threatening injuries. Police say charges will likely not be filed against the homeowner who acted in self defense.
In the Wauconda home invasion, a man allegedly held a mistaken belief as to the location of his son. Rather than calling the police or otherwise taking the proper action to find his child, the man allegedly attacked innocent people who had nothing at all to do with his missing son. To be clear, I don’t wish to overly vilify a parent who went in search of their child. Parents have a duty to care for their children, and as such should certainly take all reasonable action to find their children when missing. However, the key word there is reasonable.
In this case, being reasonable would mean knowing the correct address where the birthday party was located, or at least realizing the fact that he had arrived at the wrong house then politely leaving. Failing that, the next most reasonable course of action would have been to call the police, rather than allegedly breaking in and attacking an innocent woman in her own home. The police could have then arrived and resolved the matter, since there does not seem to have been any reason to believe that waiting those few minutes would have led to the man’s son being harmed, had the child actually been at that address. Instead, the actions that the man allegedly undertook were anything but reasonable.
It is important to note that the self defense actions of the homeowner are in no way rendered improper by the fact that the intruder allegedly thought that the homeowners where refusing to return his son. Firstly, as already mentioned, the intruder’s alleged actions were simply not reasonable, even if he honestly believed the homeowners were refusing to return his son. Secondly, and more importantly, the right to self defense centers upon the victim’s right to be free from a violent attacker, rather than on the guiltiness of the attacker. As such, the only relevant facts are that a husband and wife were in their own home when an intruder reportedly attacked, giving rise to the husband’s right to fire in self defense and defense of his wife.