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What's Up Sheepdogs? Ryan here with Tampa Carry.
On Tuesday April 13th 2021, a couple in Winter Haven received an unexpected surprise when a 26 year old man, Dominique Rashad Rogers, walked into their home uninvited. According to the police report Dominique immediately attacked the homeowner, grabbing him in the torso and tackling him to the ground.
While the two men were fighting on the floor a neighbor dialed 911. Eventually the homeowner was able to break free from Dominique and ran to grab his firearm.
Dominique immediately ran outside in a desperate attempt to escape.
What is the homeowner legally allowed to do according to Florida Concealed Carry Laws? Let's ask ourselves the big questions.
The Big Questions
How Could this Situation Have Been Avoided?
Based on the news articles that I have read about this incident it sounds like the front door to the home was open when Dominic walked in. I’ve said it before and I’m gonna say it again if you want to avoid a violent attack inside of your home keep your doors and windows shut and locked.
What Self Defense Options Could have been Used?
Clearly if a strange person enters your home uninvited and he immediately launches into an attack the homeowner has a legal right to use physical force or violence to defend themselves from the unlawful attack. However once the homeowner was able to break free from the attacker's grip he immediately ran to grab a firearm. The next question the homeowner must ask himself “is it legal to use or threaten the use of deadly force in this situation according to the Florida Castle doctrine law?”
Does this Scenario Fall Under the Castle Doctrine?
Florida Statutes 776.013 (4) A person who unlawfully and by force enters or attempts to enter a person's dwelling, residence or occupied vehicle is presumed to be doing so with the intent to commit an unlawful act involving force or violence.
Was the attacker entering or attempting to enter a residence? Yes the attacker entered the residence.
Is the attacker entering or attempting to enter unlawfully? Yes the attacker was not invited and did not have a legal right to be inside of the residence.
Is the attacker entering or attempting to enter by force? No. In order for the attacker to have entered the home by force the door would need to be shut. Because the door was wide open this would not meet the requirements of entering by force.
In my opinion this situation would not meet the requirements of using or threatening to use deadly force according to the Florida Castle doctrine law, because the front door was wide open. However this situation could meet the requirements of the Florida justified use of force Statute.
Does this Scenario Fall Under the Justified Use of Force Statute?
Florida Statutes 776.012 (2) A person is justified in using or threatening to use deadly force if he or she reasonably believes that using or threatening to use such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony. A person who uses or threatens to use deadly force in accordance with this subsection does not have a duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground if the person using or threatening to use the deadly force is not engaged in a criminal activity and is in a place where he or she has a right to be.
Do you have a responsible belief of imminent death? Personally I would say the answer to this question is no. Just because you’re getting your ass kicked does not mean you have a reasonable belief of imminent death.
Do you have a responsible belief of great bodily harm? Maybe, the State of Florida does not provide a statutory definition for great bodily harm. However, a Florida court describes great bodily harm as more than "slight, trivial, minor, or moderate harm and as such, does not include mere bruises…" Heck v. State, 774 SO.2d 844, 845 (Fla. App. 2000) I would interpret it to mean a severe injury like a broken bone, brain damage, loss of organ function, disfigurement, head trauma, or a large cut. Again, this is just my opinion.
Do you have a responsible belief of the imminent commission of a forcible felony?
Florida Statutes 776.08 Forcible felony. means treason; murder; manslaughter; sexual battery; carjacking; home-invasion robbery; robbery; burglary; arson; kidnapping; aggravated assault; aggravated battery; aggravated stalking; aircraft piracy; unlawful throwing, placing, or discharging of a destructive device or bomb; and any other felony which involves the use or threat of physical force or violence against any individual.
The only forcible felony that I think would apply would be burglary.
Burglary 810.02 (1)(a) …means entering or remaining in a dwelling, a structure or a conveyance with the intent to commit an offense therein, unless the premises are at the time open to the public or the defendant is licensed or invited to enter or remain.
Is the use of deadly force necessary? Unfortunately I don’t think I have enough information about this incident to determine if the use or threatened use of deadly force would be necessary or not.
Are you in a place where you have a right to be? Yes the man is located inside of his own home where he has a legal right to be.
Are you engaged in criminal activity? No the homeowner does not appear to be engaged in criminal activity.
Where is the Line in the Sand?
The line in the sand is the point at which the homeowner would have no other choice but to use or threaten the use of deadly force. For me this line in the sand would be if the Home Intruder had a weapon or attempted to use an item in the home as a deadly weapon. I would also draw a line in the sand if this Home intruder attacked one of my children.
What Would You Do?
What would you do if you were hanging out in your living room with the doors and windows open enjoying the cool breeze when suddenly a strange man stormed into your home and began attacking you? Do you carry your firearm at 100% of the time you are legally allowed to? Do you possess the skills attitude and mindset to use your firearm at a high-level during a violent attack? If you were in a situation where you were getting your ass kicked by a strange man would you use a firearm to defend yourself even though it is most likely illegal? What would you do?
The Rest of The Story
After the homeowner went to retrieve his firearm Dominic decided to run out of the home where he was immediately tackled by several neighbors who held him down until law enforcement officers arrived.
Dominique was charged with burglary with battery and burglary of an occupied structure.
Thankfully no one was hurt in this violent attack and the homeowner was able to stop the threat without discharging his firearm. However I believe the home owner learned a very valuable lesson from this incident.
First, you must keep your doors and windows shut and locked as much as possible. We don’t want to make it too easy for a wolf to strike.
Second, violent attacks can occur in a microsecond and you will either or ready and emerge the victor or the victim.
Finally, you must carry your firearm 100% of the time you are legally allowed too. If you dont you will never be ready for a violent attack.
That's all I have for today. So until next time keep training and stay safe...
Ryan G. Thomas
P.S. You’re one step away from getting your Florida concealed carry permit….FAST & EASY…
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