A Not-So-Clean Getaway

Defend yourself without streaking (courtesy of choretell.com)

Last Tuesday was an eventful day for Florida’s Nathaniel Smith, a two-bit hood with a penchant for home invasion and robbery.

It’s also a day I’m sure he would love to forget.

The weekend prior to this fateful Tuesday, Smith entered the home of 61-year-olds Normand Tremblay and Suzane Boutin with a gun and a crowbar in hand. He robbed them of jewelry, cell phones, cash and a computer before fleeing the scene, never to be caught.

Or so he thought.

Tuesday rolled around and in true criminal fashion, Smith decided to pull another heist since the last one went so well. And since his previous victims were old folks sitting around the house and enjoying the cool breeze through an open patio door, why not look for a similar target?

Smith found one in 66-year-old Jacques Baillargeon, who was relaxing with his wife at their Lauderdale Lakes condominium. They also had their door open to enjoy the balmy breeze, so breaking and entering was never a concern.

Smith just waltzed right in with his gun and crowbar, took the couple by surprise and demanded they cough up their valuables.

He never saw it coming.

Invasion: Jacques Baillargeon, a 66-year-old veteran of the Royal Canadian Mountain Police, said that when Nathanel Smith, 29, right, appeared armed in his home he immediately grabbed an item to attack

The perp: Nathaniel Smith (courtesy of Broward Sheriff’s Office)

In a desperate attempt to protect his wife, the French Canadian Baillargeon eyeballed the room for a weapon and came back with something rather unexpected: a bottle of glass cleaner. Unfazed by this unlikely choice, Baillargeon leapt onto Smith and sprayed what I suspect was Windex right into his eyes. Smith defended himself with the crowbar—thankfully he never fired his gun—but Baillargeon deflected it and sent it clanking to the ground.

Panicked and terrified, Smith scuffled with the old homeowner, lost his skull cap in the fracas and hauled ass. Baillargeon immediately phoned the police and even impressed the dispatcher with his story.

After all, who’s ever heard of someone using Windex for self-defense?

Unfortunately, what started as a bad day for Nathaniel Smith got much, much worse a short time after the failed home invasion. And believe me: this guy is as far from a criminal mastermind as someone can get.

Smith returned home and started thinking about what went wrong. Should he have fired his weapon? Would some kind of goggles help the next time? Then it occurred to him.

The cops could probably pull his prints from the crowbar he dropped. Even the skull cap could contain some hair or other clue to trace everything back to him. But what could he do about it now?

DING! This is supposed to represent the light bulb going off in Smith’s head, but please note it’s one of those tiny bulbs you put in children’s nightlights (i.e. not a bright idea).

In what was likely his most proactive act of all time, Smith called 911 to report a robbery at his home. He claimed that a man broke into his patio and stole a number of items, including the crowbar and skull cap. Since it sounded like the same suspect in the Baillargeon case, a cruiser was immediately dispatched and several officers went to record Smith’s story.

Invasion: Jacques Baillargeon, a 66-year-old veteran of the Royal Canadian Mountain Police, said that when Nathanel Smith, 29, right, appeared armed in his home he immediately grabbed an item to attack

The shooter: Jacques Baillargeon (courtesy of WSVN-TV)

As soon as the cops spoke with Smith, they knew something wasn’t quite right. When he reached into his pocket and accidentally pulled out a bag of weed, however, they could prove he wasn’t right. Smith was arrested and, had he kept quiet at this point, he might have snuck away with only a possession charge.

Sadly (for him), Smith couldn’t keep his mouth shut and confessed to both of the home invasions. Now he’s sitting where he belongs: in jail without bond. And once he’s in prison, I suggest he start one of those in-house degree programs and wise up. The knowledge he gathers could someday be used for good, after all.

I must also say that Baillargeon deserves kudos for taking down an intruder with glass cleaner. His quick thinking—and quick movement for such an elder statesman—prove you don’t always need a pistol or shotgun to defend yourself and your loved ones from an intruder. You’ll get in far less trouble if you use non-lethal objects.

And let’s face it. Beating the crap out of some criminal with a remote control, a baseball bat or a hamster cage sounds like fun.

I’ll save the Windex for cleaning.

Posted on March 3, 2013, in Perspectives and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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