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Pennsylvania Constable kills 12 year-old girl while serving eviction notice

bobbyrlf3bobbyrlf3 Senior MemberPosts: 2,543 Senior Member
Here's a link to the story: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/01/13/pennsylvania-constable-serving-eviction-notice-shoots-and-kills-12-year-old-girl.html?intcmp=hplnws

I can't help but feel awful for the constable. If the reporting is accurate, it seems he was just doing his job when he got an AR pointed at him; he reacts, and ends up killing a little girl. Although a case can be made for the rule "Be aware of your target and what is beyond your target before you shoot", I think that under the circumstances, he shouldn't be held responsible for the death of the girl.

The dad, however, should be charged with felony murder, since it was his assault on the constable that caused his daughter's death. And he gets to live with that.
Knowledge is essential to living freely and fully; understanding gives knowledge purpose and strength; wisdom is combining the two and applying them appropriately in words and actions.
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Replies

  • MississippiBoyMississippiBoy Senior Member Posts: 819 Senior Member
    I don't know for sure........I can't really blame the constable. He was in imminent fear for his life, and responded with justifiable deadly force. The only thing that makes me stop is the old rule that you are responsible for every bullet that leaves the barrel of your gun.
    I don't know.....I have to think on this one.
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    While I don't think the Constable is at fault, I don't believe in aggresive evictions either, for my money, if I know there are small children involved, if I were the property owner, I would try a peaceful solution, only my opinion however, people can't afford lots of non paying tenants.
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 23,642 Senior Member
    Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

    It'd be my guess that the Constable will be thrown under the bus.
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    He should not be, however, a little girl is dead.

    How do you figure this ? it is one of those tragic occurances that MAYBE could have been avoided but likely it could not be avoided, just too many factors in the mix, and that Constable is suffering too.

    Ya know, if a Deputy Barney Fife is intent on throwing out a father and his wee daughter into the cold for non payment of rent, things can often get ugly, if I had to serve an eviction, I would like to know if there are minor children living there....

    Not judging that Constable, just saying with no real facts.....
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • VarmintmistVarmintmist Senior Member Posts: 7,396 Senior Member
    DoctorWho wrote: »
    While I don't think the Constable is at fault, I don't believe in aggresive evictions either, for my money, if I know there are small children involved, if I were the property owner, I would try a peaceful solution, only my opinion however, people can't afford lots of non paying tenants.

    In PA, if a constable gets involved, there has been a minimum of 90 days after the eviction notice was given by the landlord before the court even got involved. In reality, figure 2 months missed rent, probably more if the guy paid late a couple times, a month to get it to the court, 3 months wait, a couple weeks to process, the guy was probably squatting for about half a year at a absolute min or a lot more if it was sec 8, before the constable showed up at his door. People cant afford any deadbeat tenants, nor should they ever have to. The tenant knew the date of eviction. It would have been posted on the door after the court hearing. Which also means that the deadbeat planned to meet the constable at the door with a rifle on that day and time.

    Its a shame that the girl had a deadbeat father.
    It's boring, and your lack of creativity knows no bounds.
  • VarmintmistVarmintmist Senior Member Posts: 7,396 Senior Member
    DoctorWho wrote: »
    Not judging that Constable, just saying with no real facts.....
    understatement
    Ya know, if a Deputy Barney Fife is intent on throwing out a father and his wee daughter into the cold for non payment of rent, things can often get ugly, if I had to serve an eviction, I would like to know if there are minor children living there....
    And do exactly what? Overrule the judge and tell the landlord that because you deem it so, he must continue to support deadbeats until you choose to let him evict them?
    It's boring, and your lack of creativity knows no bounds.
  • horselipshorselips Senior Member Posts: 3,628 Senior Member
    Is the constable white? Was the girl black? Will this plot thicken?
  • VarmintmistVarmintmist Senior Member Posts: 7,396 Senior Member
    White.

    More info, deadbeat got hand delivered notice 3 Dec http://www.opposingviews.com/i/constable-shoots-12-year-old-girl-while-trying-evict-family

    On Monday, Pennsylvania State Constable Clarke Steele was serving an eviction notice to Donald Meyer, 57, in Penn Township when Meyer slid a .223-caliber rifle into view and pointed it at Steele's chest, Pennsylvania State Police said.
    http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/nation-and-world/constable-kills-12-year-old-girl-while-serving-eviction-notice-her-dad
    It's boring, and your lack of creativity knows no bounds.
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    understatement

    And do exactly what? Overrule the judge and tell the landlord that because you deem it so, he must continue to support deadbeats until you choose to let him evict them?

    Did I say that ? NO
    Back off please

    A child was killed.
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 21,075 Senior Member
    If the article is accurate, I pin the ENTIRE blame on the sperm donor.
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    I agree Paul.

    However I am getting tired of people twisting what I say in order to start an arguement, the poor kid is dead, you have a Constable that no doubt is suffering greatly, and as a past LEO am NOT in favor of killing people in order to execute an order of eviction.
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • EliEli Senior Member Posts: 3,074 Senior Member
    DoctorWho wrote: »
    .......... twisting what I say ................ and as a past LEO am NOT in favor of killing people in order to execute an order of eviction.


    Yet you say that second bit as if that's what happened here. The little girl wasn't killed "in order to execute an order of eviction", she was killed because the constable was defending his life and didn't hit a meaty enough part of his attacker to bring the round to a terminal rest.

    No twisting necessary.
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    You did say you would want to know if there was a child that would be evicted. Then you left it open. So, just exactly what wouldyou do?

    Maybe get the guy out in the open, as he smokes etc... talk to him with other LEOs present as backup, anything to avoid a hostage or baracade situation, liked an animal backed into a corner, people sometimes defend their home / castle.

    And yes, I am aware the Constable was defending his life ! been there !
    It is regretable his innocent daughter died, and yes, he was still her father for better or worse, she is an orphan and everbody looses here.
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • BAMAAKBAMAAK Senior Member Posts: 4,484 Senior Member
    Orphan? Did I miss something?
    "He only earns his freedom and his life Who takes them every day by storm."

    -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German writer and politician
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    I got confused, the kid is dead.... not the other way around.
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • tubabucknuttubabucknut Banned Posts: 3,520 Senior Member
    This story suck all the way around. Constable has a right to defend himself with a rifle in his face. Should he have been more aware of his surroundings? Yes. Father carries 99% of the blame.

    Child was home sick from school. No way for constable to know this. He did nothing wrong to execute his duties.
  • BufordBuford Senior Member Posts: 6,713 Senior Member
    DoctorWho wrote: »
    And yes, I am aware the Constable was defending his life ! been there !

    One of the machete dudes yes?
    Just look at the flowers Lizzie, just look at the flowers.
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    sick
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • VarmintmistVarmintmist Senior Member Posts: 7,396 Senior Member
    DoctorWho wrote: »
    Did I say that ? NO
    Back off please
    Yes, you did. Its called inference. you inferred that you would find out that there were kids there and do something different where the outcome would be better. There is no twisting about it until you continue to ignore and change facts to fit what you want to happen.
    just saying with no real fact
    or any effort to retrieve one, you said the constable was a "Barney Fife" and he was "throwing the father and wee daughter out into the cold" without ever bothering to trip over anything that is reality.
    Maybe get the guy out in the open, as he smokes etc... talk to him with other LEOs present as backup, anything to avoid a hostage or baracade situation, liked an animal backed into a corner, people sometimes defend their home / castle.
    How about before you "what if" this any more, take 3 min and look up what the duties of a PA constable are. There is this thing called the interwebs or something like that, and while it might not always be true, you can mostly figure out that:

    1. constable is a elected position, and is not a full LEO. There is no backup. You are assigned by the court to the warrant.
    2. The deadbeat was given court ordered notice in Dec. Which means in PA he was given notice by the landlord long before that. He KNEW he had to get out that day.
    3. That more than likely this "Barney Fife" as you put it was doing this as a side job and has to take this home every night from here on out.
    4. He had a rifle pointed at him after a door opened the SECOND time in a apt bldg. so it was hallway distance.
    5. He drew, fired and hit his target without spraying the entire area.
    6. He was in a regular uniform, with prior notice given. Not like he raided the wrong address, shot a puppy and flashbanged a dangerous diaper clad hoodlum barricaded in her crib armed to the tooth with a semi auto lactose weapon.


    But he is a Barney Fife IAW the LEO professional.
    A child was killed.
    But you could make a lot better call with your vast LEO experience, after you "what if" it to fit your perceived reality and ignore what was actually going on. Your attention to what was going on doesnt say you would make a better call. So how about you back off and find a fact. As it is, you are giving your opinion on your theory of what you might possibly do if the scenario were as you dreamed up.

    I'm done, just had one to many "Whoisms" of keyboard flatuation this week.
    It's boring, and your lack of creativity knows no bounds.
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 8,249 Senior Member
    In PA, if a constable gets involved, there has been a minimum of 90 days after the eviction notice was given by the landlord before the court even got involved. In reality, figure 2 months missed rent, probably more if the guy paid late a couple times, a month to get it to the court, 3 months wait, a couple weeks to process, the guy was probably squatting for about half a year at a absolute min or a lot more if it was sec 8, before the constable showed up at his door. People cant afford any deadbeat tenants, nor should they ever have to. The tenant knew the date of eviction. It would have been posted on the door after the court hearing. Which also means that the deadbeat planned to meet the constable at the door with a rifle on that day and time.

    Its a shame that the girl had a deadbeat father.

    THIS! Let's look at the situation that brought a cop/constable to this door in the first place. Whatever the cause of the eviction (failure to pay rent, drug deals off the porch, loud obnoxious parties, etc...), we know that the landlord was trying to evict a tenant that would willingly point a rifle at an LEO.

    The cop was there doing what he was ordered to do, and ultimately did what he had to. Could have done it better, sure, but under the circumstances, I'd bet his only perception was of an AR flash suppressor and front sight tower that appeared to be about three stories tall. It's unlikely there was time to assume a proper Bullseye stance, take a deep breath between shots, and make sure the backstop conformed to NRA regulations. The guy's gonna have a boatload of head noise to live with over this for the rest of his life, and he and probably his agency are going to be "what iffing" it till the end of time.

    The blame for this one is squarely on the kid's "father". Maybe you can criticize the legal system that created this situation, but there's really not much to be hung on the individual officer here.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • earlyearly Senior Member Posts: 4,950 Senior Member
    I had my cities finest come to the door a few times since I've lived here. It never seemed that I needed to greet them with a gun barrel.

    Had a guy come to the door to yell at me once because my daughter and her friend threw snowball's at his truck. I didn't greet him with a gun barrel either.

    Getting evicted is a terrible thing. Evoking an armed confrontation with sheriff's deputies are anyone else is wanten invitation to tragedy.
    My thoughts are generally clear. My typing, not so much.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,394 Senior Member
    early wrote: »
    I had my cities finest come to the door a few times since I've lived here. It never seemed that I needed to greet them with a gun barrel.

    Had a guy come to the door to yell at me once because my daughter and her friend threw snowball's at his truck. I didn't greet him with a gun barrel either.

    Getting evicted is a terrible thing. Evoking an armed confrontation with sheriff's deputies are anyone else is wanten invitation to tragedy.

    I have to agree with early here. It's a sad situation all around but the slime ball squatter should have thought about having his daughter present when he pulled that AR. Now I'm no LEO, but I would think that if the Constable had known there was a little girl in the back ground he may have or at least I hope he would have made retreat and thought over a different approach. But my guess is she was standing behind her father and the constable probably reacted out of gobs of fear for his own life. At that point, all reason is off the table, it's time to revert to your default training and defend yourself. The squatting slime ball holds all the guilt here. But having said all that, in docs defense here, I can at least sympathize with his feelings, if there would have been any other way to do this it would have been preferable to do so. I just think that this was one of those times where the worst outcome was inevitable. I just wish the Constable would have had the presence of mind to aim higher and had taken the slime ball squatter out and not the little girl.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • Elk creekElk creek Senior Member Posts: 6,450 Senior Member
    I wonder how many months rent the squatter could have gotten out of his rifle? A family man, a real one anyway, would rather have a safe roof for his family than an asset to keep said roof. IMHO! Slime ball. The whole story is tragic, sad sad sad.
    Aim higher, or get a bigger gun.
  • Murphy's LawMurphy's Law Member Posts: 313 Member
    DoctorWho wrote: »
    Maybe get the guy out in the open, as he smokes etc... talk to him with other LEOs present as backup, anything to avoid a hostage or baracade situation, liked an animal backed into a corner, people sometimes defend their home / castle.

    And yes, I am aware the Constable was defending his life ! been there !
    It is regretable his innocent daughter died, and yes, he was still her father for better or worse, she is an orphan and everbody looses here.

    I agree what your getting at. Tough thing either way.
  • softwarejanitorsoftwarejanitor Member Posts: 241 Member
    Elk creek wrote: »
    I wonder how many months rent the squatter could have gotten out of his rifle? A family man, a real one anyway, would rather have a safe roof for his family than an asset to keep said roof. IMHO! Slime ball. The whole story is tragic, sad sad sad.

    Unless it was a really tricked out rifle, probably not even a month. Around here a 2br appt rent is now up to over a grand and you can buy an AR at retail easy for less than that. AR prices have really come down... rent not so much.

    That said... only a complete idiot would think he could hold off LEOs on a foreclosure for very long. A guy with a rifle might be able to turn away the first Constable that showed up to serve the papers, but they're gonna call in reinforcements and it will turn into a SWAT standoff at best after that. I dunno what that guy was thinking. He got his daughter killed for his stupidity.
  • JasonMPDJasonMPD Senior Member Posts: 6,557 Senior Member
    bobbyrlf3 wrote: »
    Here's a link to the story: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/01/13/pennsylvania-constable-serving-eviction-notice-shoots-and-kills-12-year-old-girl.html?intcmp=hplnws

    I can't help but feel awful for the constable. If the reporting is accurate, it seems he was just doing his job when he got an AR pointed at him; he reacts, and ends up killing a little girl. Although a case can be made for the rule "Be aware of your target and what is beyond your target before you shoot", I think that under the circumstances, he shouldn't be held responsible for the death of the girl.

    The dad, however, should be charged with felony murder, since it was his assault on the constable that caused his daughter's death. And he gets to live with that.

    The Constable has some emotionally irreparable trauma to deal with for the rest of his life. I feel for him.

    As said, if reporting is accurate, the joker who pointed the weapon at the Constable should be charged with the homicide of the 12 year old girl. In Florida, if anyone dies as the result of your felony crime, whether o not that person was aiding you in the crime or was an intended victim of the crime, you get charged with their death. Hopefully its the same in Pennsylvania.
    “There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” – Will Rogers
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    It might be second degree murder, if it was not premeditated.
    Felonious assault on the constable resulting in the unintended death of a third party.
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • JasonMPDJasonMPD Senior Member Posts: 6,557 Senior Member
    DoctorWho wrote: »
    It might be second degree murder, if it was not premeditated.
    Felonious assault on the constable resulting in the unintended death of a third party.

    2nd Degree? Nah.
    “There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” – Will Rogers
  • bobbyrlf3bobbyrlf3 Senior Member Posts: 2,543 Senior Member
    UPDATE: The dad has been charged, the constable has been cleared of wrongdoing.

    http://www.cnn.com/2016/01/29/us/pennsylvania-ciara-meyer-shooting-father-charged/index.html
    Knowledge is essential to living freely and fully; understanding gives knowledge purpose and strength; wisdom is combining the two and applying them appropriately in words and actions.
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 23,642 Senior Member
    We need more "common sense" like this...
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
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