This doesn't look like self defense to me

Imaging myself as the frying pan yielding home owner, not claiming trying to detain for the police (citizens arrest);

“I was chasing him away and didn’t want to seriously hurt him or prevent his being able to leave. If I wanted to seriously hurt him I would have hit him on the head. A leg might stop him from leaving and the trunk might not hurt enough to encourage his continued departure. That’s at least what I was thinking in the split moment.”

As a juror my image is a little old lady chasing out a bad guy by swinging a broom.

The story seems extremely reasonable to me.

Nope. You are making the outrageous claims. You show a case in Illinois where a homeowner was charged with a crime for hitting a burglar on the hand with a frying pan as they were leaving their property.


The person using force needs to “reasonably” believe that the force is necessary to end the burglary/trespass, but that’s it.

Indeed. Heck, when someone shoots and kills an intruder who was taking their tv, people lament about killing someone’s over a tv. I think about what a pain in the ass it was the last time I purchased a tv, brought it home, unboxed, installed.

Yeah, maybe killing a guy over a tv isn’t that bad.

In the end, though, it is not about the TV but about that stranger thinking it is ok to be in my space. My personal safe space is being callously molested. How hard is that to understand?

One thing’s for sure: That dog should have been docked a day’s pay.

Oh it is easy to understand the desire to retaliate and to exact revenge. It is however a crime to do so. That also should not be hard to understand.

To your initial point, I think a jury wouldn’t necessarily have to ignore the law. They decide whether the homeowner had reasonable fear for their safety, and whether it was a reasonable use of force.

To the point quoted above, I agree that it could be a reasonable attempt to detain, but also, I don’t get why everyone sees this hit to the hand as a deliberate attempt to stop the person from leaving. It’s possible that it was, but it’s also possible, and totally reasonable during a panicked attempt to drive an intruder, whose intent you don’t know, away from your home and loved ones, that the strike was to the intruder’soutstretching hand, without any deliberation about what the hand is reaching for, and what the implications of the burglar reaching for the gate are, vis-a-vis his intention to leave the property.

I agree with your entire post. I think part of it is trying to guard against vigilantism, but the fineness of the distinctions is extreme. I mean, everyone agrees, I think, that the guy is 100% justified in chasing the burglar out of his house. Then the parsing starts. Can he continue on to chase him out of the fenced yard? Then: He hit him on the hand to stop him from leaving!

I think some of it is that ignorance. Like every move in a fight is the product of careful consideration, deliberate aim, and perfect execution. The burglar was hit on the hand while his hand was on the gate = reasoned, intentional, perfectly executed strike to prevent burglar from leaving.

Wow. That’s a lot of certainty. Guess what though. The defense of dwelling law stops when you are no longer defending your dwelling, but that doesn’t mean there’s no more defense. You can still use force to drive off a trespasser.

§ 7-3. Use of force in defense of other property.

(a) A person is justified in the use of force against another when and to the extent that he reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to prevent or terminate such other’s trespass on or other tortious or criminal interference with either real property (other than a dwelling) or personal property, lawfully in his possession or in the possession of another who is a member of his immediate family or household or of a person whose property he has a legal duty to protect. However, he is justified in the use of force which is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm only if he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.

No one is dead here. This discussion is not about lethal force at all. Pretty much the entire discussion is about hitting a burglar on the hand with a frying pan.

Someone quoted one law that was applicable. Lots of people have argued that self defense is not that limited.

You built an entire argument on a presumption that another person’s posting of a single relevant law constituted the sum total of all of the relevant laws. Did you try to search for additional self defense laws for Illinois? Because to make the claim that self defense in Illinois is limited to “preventing or terminating an attack on their dwelling” you would need to have some grasp of what is and is not contained in Illinois self defense law. You do not.

One of the ways to view self defense law and it’s standard of having a reasonable belief is that it is a way of implementing a policy choice that the risks fall on the criminal or presumed criminal, rather than on the person who is the victim or who reasonably believes they are the victim.

This is why a use of force can be justified if reasonable, even if the reasonable belief turns out to be a mistaken one.

Right. It’s not the reasonable belief of someone viewing the video, looking up the appropriate statute on their computer, wondering about it, discussing it online and coming to a conclusion. It’s the reasonable belief of someone suddenly confronted by an intruder in his own home and what is reasonable in the moment.

I’ve noticed the same thing in other threads about self defense. My working theory is that a lot of people are comfortable with the idea of self defense in the abstract, but they’re not so comfortable seeing how the sausage is made. Violence is ugly and unpleasant, so most of us avoid it where possible. I have seen threads on this board where I thought many members were unreasonable in how they viewed self-defense, but I do think the OP asks a reasonable question in this case.

I agree. But the OP does seem to have difficulty accepting reasonable answers, IMHO.

Clearly he grabbed a skillet not a beer

He was on his way home when the alarm went off, so presumably the frying pan was cold. He fried some fish after chasing the burglary.

Until then, he had bigger fish to fry.

I was replying to the question of why self-defense cases are closely scrutinized in general, not necessarily this specific case.

except in Florida

But lethal uses of force are a fraction of all self-defense cases, and the laws pertaining to the use of lethal force are different from the more general self defense laws.

So I still don’t really see the relevance in a discussion about a very minor use of force. I get that you are saying that’s why people closely scrutinize it, and that you are not saying they are the same thing. It’s just odd if that really is why some people scrutinize it this way.

You forgot to open the doors!