Friday, June 27, 2008

The kids are (not) all right

Frank McCourt, a 57-year-old ex-soldier who lives in West Sussex, England, had a bunch of teen hooligans show up in his neighborhood and throw eggs and rocks at his and his neighbors' houses. He shouted at them and chased them off.

The next day, the same junior thugs-in-training showed back up and resumed throwing things at his house, as well as yelling obscenities at his wife, presumably in retaliation for McCourt's running them off.

McCourt called the police hotline, and waited for 45 minutes without being put through. He then went outside to see if he could find an officer, but had no success. Meanwhile, the yobs continued their assault on his house.

At the end of his rope, McCourt finally grabbed one of the kids, brought him into his house, and demanded the kid's name, his parents' names, and his phone number, and called the youth's mother to inform her as to what her precious little angel had been up to. He then let the kid go, telling him not to return.

All ended well, as the mother was mortified and embarrassed at her offspring's behavior, and the police were very apologetic at their lack of response to McCourt's attempts to contact them.

Nah, I'm just kidding. This is England, you know. McCourt was arrested and charged with kidnapping and assault.

"At the end of his tether, he grabbed one of the louts by the arm and hauled him inside, telling him he was performing a citizen's arrest." (Emphasis mine)

Mr. McCourt had unfortunately forgotten that he is a British subject, not a citizen. There's an important difference between the two.

"He remained on bail until April 3, when officers told him they would issue a caution. But Mr McCourt refused to accept it, because doing so would be an admission of guilt."

Good for him.

The charges were finally dropped, but only after McCourt's Member of Parliament went to bat for him, and after the police were thoroughly embarrassed by the publicity in the case.

Chalk up another victory for the Nanny State. Heaven forbid someone defend themselves and their home, especially after trying to call for help and not succeeding.

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