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Intruder Shot – Now Homeowner Struggles with $85,000 in Legal Bills after Intruder Sues Him

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Published on: March 11, 2016

There is no doubt that this is an injustice. Joe Balistreri and his family had spent the night at his parents’ house in Foster City, California. After he shot an intruder in the home, Balistreri was then sued by the intruder in a civil suit, which placed a large monetary burden on him. Instead of tossing out the frivolous suit, the case moved forward, and even though Balistreri won the case, he has had to start a GoFundMe page to help with the costs of his attorney.

Balistreri believes there is an injustice in the court system, and indeed there is.

He told his story to a local CBS affiliate in San Francisco.

“I heard the noise coming from the front door. I heard clicking, rattling of the door handle,” he recalled. “I woke up my father, told him someone’s trying to break into your house, where’s your gun?”

According to the report, the intruder attempted to come through the front door, but was unable, so he made his way around to the back of the house and entered the garage through a side door.

“This guy is now in my house,” he said.

In the dark, Balistreri fired three shots at the 6’4″ intruder as he came face-to-face with him. “There was no knocking, there was no announcement, there was no nothing,” Balistreri said.

Yet, the intruder’s argument in his civil suit was that he was intoxicated and that he thought he was entering a friend’s house.

Right, that is no excuse. If you are intoxicated, then you are still responsible for your actions no matter how stupid or criminal they are.

The judge sided with Mr. Balistreri. However, the legal bills he suffered under were great.

“This guy put a huge burden on my shoulders,” Balistreri said.

Sadly, only Balistreri’s parents’ legal fees were covered by their homeowner’s insurance, not his. He then set up a GoFundMe page, which I’m amazed has not been shut down, hoping to gain help from others to pay his legal fees. The goal is $85,000, of which in the past 6 days people have contributed $13,545 as of the writing of this article.

It is ridiculous that a man who had not prosecution against him and was declared to be zero percent at fault could be sued by the criminal. It’s an injustice.

U.S. Concealed Carry Association provides specific insurance to help should you have to use your firearm. However, the fact that after looking at the facts of the case, there was not an immediate dismissal is quite telling about the judicial system.

Yet, the Bible speaks about this kind of incident too. In dealing with property law, Exodus 22:2 reads:

“If the thief is caught while breaking in and is struck so that he dies, there will be no bloodguiltiness on his account.

Had Mr. Balistreri actually killed the man, perhaps he would not be in debt and the society would be rid of another lawless person.

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