Ex-Con Who Kicked In Elderly Man’s Door Shouldn’t Have Done That

Chuck Ross | Reporter

A 71-year-old widower described by neighbors as friendly and quiet was forced to defend his home with lethal force on Friday against a felon who was trying to kick down his door.

Police in Columbus, Ohio say that the homeowner, Joseph Miklich, called 911 after the mid-day incident.

“Some guy broke into my house, and I shot him,” Miklich told a 911 dispatcher. “He kicked the door in.”

When police arrived, they found damage to Miklich’s door and 31-year-old Michael Rinehart dead on the front porch.

Miklich claimed he did not know the home invader, but the law did. Rinehart had served a four year prison sentence after being convicted of burglary in 2010. According to the Columbus Dispatch, Rinehart applied for early release in 2013 but was denied.

“Somebody kicks in your door and they’re coming in your house, you don’t have to wait for them to come in your house,” Columbus Police Sgt. Rich Weiner said, according to WBNS.

“There’s a big difference if somebody’s outside and they’re 20, 30, 40 feet away and they’re not inside your residence — different story. But somebody is kicking in your door and they’re coming in, most people might consider that to be a threat and they can take action,” Weiner continued.

While police don’t expect Miklich to be charged in the shooting, his case will be presented to a grand jury.

Miklich has lived in the same Columbus neighborhood since 1971. He’s lived alone since 2004, when his wife passed away.

“He’s a nice guy, you know? He’s laid back, quiet,” a neighbor, Chris Grant, told WBNS on Miklich.

Friday’s incident was the second self-defense shooting in Columbus this month. Last week, a woman living in a crime-ridden neighborhood fatally shot a man who broke into her house through the front window. Luckily for the woman her son had given her a gun just the week before. (RELATED: Woman Shoots Intruder With Gun Her Son Gave Her A Week Ago)

Out of 89 homicides in the city last year, five were self-defense, according to the Columbus Dispatch.

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