Worcester, MA – A would-be thief picked the wrong home to target early Sunday morning when he found himself confronted by a homeowner who was a retired cop.
There was a sign on the former officer’s house that said “Never mind the dog, beware of owner!” but that didn’t stop the alleged burglar.
Worcester Police said the homeowner noticed a “suspicious man dressed in all black” checking car doors on his street at about 12:45 a.m. on April 29, WBZ-TV reported.
When the suspect ventured onto his property, the 56-year-old homeowner grabbed his legally-owned gun and went outside to confront him, police said.
Police said the homeowner encountered the suspect in his side yard, Mass Live reported.
His neighbor Jonathan Rodrigues said he heard the confrontation taking place.
“I heard Chuck saying ‘What are you doing here?’ and on the third time that’s when I went to the window to see what was going on,” Rodrigues told WBZ.
Police said the homeowner asked 29-year-old Zackery Bailey what he was doing in his yard.
“The homeowner attempted to escort the male off of his property,” police said.
Authorities have not released the name of the homeowner, but his neighbors identified him as retired Worcester police officer Charles Jackson.
“Neighbors witnessing the altercation heard the male threaten to shoot the homeowner and began to reach towards his back waistband,” police said. “At this time the homeowner fired several rounds at the male. The male was hit and ran from the scene.”
Neighbors described the scene in detail.
“In a split second, one shot goes off and then Chuck falls back and the kid falls back and kind of runs. That’s when Chuck fires again,” Rodrigues told WBZ.
The neighbor blames Bailey completely and said he was glad his neighbor had been there to protect them.
Neighbor Chris Deperrio told Mass Live the gunshots woke him, and when he looked out the window, he saw a truck driving away from the scene.
“I’m glad he was able to protect himself,” Deperrio said. “I’d like to hope it was a random thing and that he wasn’t targeted.”
Bailey called the police shortly thereafter and reported himself shot, according to WBZ.
He was taken to the hospital with two non-life threatening gunshot wounds, and arrested on a prior warrant.
Mass Live reported that Bailey was scheduled to be arraigned in Worcester Central District Court on Wednesday on a warrant for an unrelated breaking and entering charge.
Bailey had not yet been charged with the incident that led to him being shot, but police said they were still investigating and he could face additional charges, according to Mass Live.