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Armed 73-Year-Old Homeowner Takes Down Home Invader

"He picked the wrong house," Daniel McGown told WEWS.

Akron, OH – A 73-year-old homeowner turned the tables on a home invader on Tuesday morning, when he confronted the burglar and held him at gunpoint until police arrived at the scene.

The incident occurred in the 600-block of Crosby Street just after 5:15 a.m., WEWS reported.

Retired attorney Daniel McGown, 73, said he was already on high alert because someone kicked in his front door of his home and stole firearms, ammunition, and electronics while he was out of town several days prior.

On Tuesday morning, someone started ringing his doorbells in the early morning hours, he said.

“There are two doorbells – one in front and [one in] back – and they rang them repeatedly for about five minutes to see if anybody was home,” McGown told WEWS.

The alert senior citizen grabbed his loaded Sig Saur 9mm handgun, which he kept next to his bed, and went into the living room to confront the intruder.

“Oh, you betcha,” he said. “He picked the wrong house.”

When McGown encountered 51-year-old Thomas Gaffney inside his home, the homeowner immediately raised his weapon in the suspect’s direction.

“I pointed the pistol at him and said, ‘If you don’t move, I won’t shoot you,’” the grandfather told WEWS. “He said, ‘Don’t shoot me.’”

McGown then realized that the cell phone he needed in order to call police was still upstairs in his bedroom.

He ordered Gaffney to head up the stairs ahead of him as he continued to hold him at gunpoint.

“I told him, ‘You’re gonna walk ahead of me, and we’re going to go upstairs where I can get my cellphone and call the police,’” he recounted. “And he said, ‘Please do call the police! Please don’t shoot me!’”

Gaffney remained cooperative as he and the armed homeowner entered the bedroom.

“I told him to get down on his knees in the front of the bed, lay down on it with his arms out and I called police and they showed up and here he was,” McGown told WEWS.

“At the time, I wasn’t adrenaline-fueled,” he explained to the Akron Beacon Journal. “I just wanted him to stay there until the police came. I didn’t want to have to do anything other than hold him. And it turns out I didn’t.”

Gaffney has been charged with second-degree burglary, and has been convicted of multiple burglaries in the past.

McGown said he was prepared to use deadly force against the intruder if necessary, but that he was glad the situation didn’t escalate to that point.

“If he had reached his hand towards a pocket or something where I thought he might have had one of the guns that went away last night or the night before, I might have been tempted to do that,” the homeowner told the Akron Beacon Journal. “But I’m glad it didn’t come to that.”

Despite the chaos of the tense situation, McGown headed back to bed after police hauled Gaffney away.

“I’m 73 years old,” he told the Akron Beacon Journal with a laugh. “I can sleep almost any time.”

“My home was being violated and here was a guy doing it in my presence, here’s the guy and I wanted him to stop doing that,” he added. “Once I made him stop doing that, I had no trouble going to sleep because I had done what I was supposed to do and no more.”

The property stolen from McGown’s home in the earlier burglary has not been recovered, WEWS reported.

Police are investigating whether or not Gaffney may have also been involved in the first home invasion, the Akron Beacon Journal reported.

Holly Matkin - August Fri, 2019


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