Police say a Montgomery County man who thought someone was breaking into his neighbor’s car made a citizen's arrest, holding the man at gunpoint. Investigators say the man wasn’t there to steal anything but confessed that he was about to commit another crime.
“It was unusual to say the least,” said Abington Deputy Police Chief John Livingood.
Investigators say the gun-toting homeowner saw the man sitting inside the driver’s seat of his neighbor’s black Honda parked at a home on the 500 block of Abington Avenue around 11:30 p.m. Sunday. The homeowner, armed with the gun, approached the man and asked him why he was in the car.
“The man told him that he was leaving money for a friend and when the homeowner asked him the friend’s name, it was not the name of his neighbor so he pulled his gun out ,“ said Chief John Livingood.
Police say the homeowner forced the guy out the car at gunpoint and held him until police arrived.
When police arrived, the man told them that he went to the car to leave money for drugs but later realized that he was at the wrong home.
Police say the man thought he was on the 600 block of Abington Avenue where his friend lives and also owns a similar black Honda. Police searched the Honda at that address and found a bag marijuana in a plastic bag inside the car.
Chief Livingood says the homeowner had a permit to carry a handgun but was wrong to use it in this situation.
“This is not an offense where you could use deadly force, it was not his house,” said Chief Livingood. “We would never advise anybody to do that…had something gone wrong it would have been an issue. Don’t take the law into your own hands, call police…who knew what could have happened.”
Police say the man who approached the wrong car was given a citation. The owner of the second Honda was charged with possession of drugs. The homeowner was not charged with any crime.
Pennsylvania does not have a citizen's arrest law.