There is an old saying about not picking a fight with an old man because he will likely just shoot you. Picking a fight with an old war vet is an even dumber idea. And breaking into an old war vet’s home in the middle of the night? You’re just asking to die, aren’t you?
Which is what almost happened when 25-year old Raymond Hiles decided to break into the home of 84-year old Fred Ricciutti, a US Army veteran of the Korean War.
When Ricciutti heard someone trying to break into his Elizabeth Township, PA home at 4:30 a.m., he was prepared to defend his wife, himself, and his home. So he picked up the old German Luger, which he carried during the Korean War, and fired a shot through the door, which nicked the would be burglar in the neck.
“I said ‘Halt, who’s there?’” said Ricciutti. “I’m thinking, friend or foe, he shouldn’t be there that time of day.”
Ricciutti said he was awoken when he heard Hiles breaking in through an unlocked kitchen window. When he confronted the intruder standing in his doorway, Ricciutti fired.
The bullet grazed Hiles in the back of the neck, as well as a door and storm door window.
Ricciutti said he then called police, and Hiles was caught a few blocks away from Ricciutti’s home.
According to police, Hiles had a screwdriver and stun gun on him when Elizabeth Township police arrested him.
According to Ricciutti, he knows the intruder, who he says grew up across the street from them. Thankfully, the police do not plan on filing any charges against Ricciutti. However, the end of the report indicated that the police still have his gun.
Why? I don’t believe I’d give mine up in this instance. Besides, what happens if someone else tries to break into his home while the police have his gun?
Other than having his gun (temporarily, I hope) confiscated by the Police, the only other unfortunate part of this story is that Mr. Ricciutti’s aim wasn’t a little bit truer, and that Mr. Hiles isn’t on his way to a morgue instead of to jail.