A courageous New York homeowner found himself in a frightening situation — confronted by two intruders who’d broken into his residence. Faced with this threat, he reacted by shooting them both dead. Outnumbered and menaced by criminals who’d forced entrance to his property, that’s a reasonable reaction. Obviously, even a famously anti-gun state like New York can’t object to that — so they arrested him for using an unregistered gun instead.
On Tuesday, May 28th, retiree Ronald Stolarczyk was at his home in Deerfield, Oneida County, NY. Around 2:40 pm the property was invaded by Patricia Anne Talerico and her 27-year-old nephew, Nicholas Talerico, who were apparently intent on robbing Mr. Stolarczyk.
- Stolarczyk was alerted by the sound of voices inside his home. Investigating, he saw the Talericos climbing the stairs towards him. Afraid that his life was in danger, he opened fire with a handgun that had been left to him by his late father, fatally wounding both intruders.
- After the shooting, Stolarczyk cooperated with police and told them what happened. In his statement, he said that when he saw the Talericos approaching him he believed they planned to kill him. “It’s either them or me,” he said.
- Right now, it seems that the invaders were unarmed — but Stolarczyk had no way of knowing that at the time. Under New York law there’s no requirement that your opponents be armed before you can use deadly force — you just have to reasonably believe that your life is in danger. Two criminals against one man in his 60s? That seems pretty dangerous.
- Police seem to be accepting Stolarczyk’s account — he hasn’t been charged with anything related to the deaths of the intruders.
- Instead, police decided to charge him with felony possession of an unregistered firearm! The gun originally belonged to his father, and if you inherit a firearm in New York you don’t need to go through a background check or any other process — but you do need to register the weapon in your own name. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t know that.
- If convicted, Stolarczyk could face up to a year in prison. Right now he’s been released without bail pending trial. He’s in the hands of local social services, according to cops, because his home has been condemned.
- The Talerico family released a statement claiming they “lost two wonderful people to gun violence” and insisting that these “amazing, caring and loving” people “thought the house was unoccupied.” Like that’s an excuse for breaking in??
- However, Anthony Talerico’s girlfriend has admitted driving the pair to Deerfield, and police say she’s provided information that backs up Stolarczyk’s claim that his home had previously been robbed, and allowed them to “recover” a large quantity of suspected stolen goods.
- The autopsy report on the deceased confirms that, as Stolarczyk claims, they were approaching him when he shot them.