UPDATE: Preacher Talks about Holding Burglary Suspects at Gunpoint

By: WSAZ News Staff; Andrew Colegrove Email
By: WSAZ News Staff; Andrew Colegrove Email

UPDATE 3/4/13 @ 10 p.m.
ASHLAND, Ky, (WSAZ) -- Burglars didn't have a prayer when they were caught in the act by a pistol-packing preacher.

Ricky Porter is the pastor at 21st Street Tabernacle in Ashland.

Porter completed a concealed carry class in December, which he says he participated in because of the growing crime in his community.

"We live in dangerous times,” Porter said.

He says burglaries on Route 5 in Boyd County have been all too common the past few months.

"I really think neighborhoods are tired of being run over," he said.

Last week a thief went onto his next-door neighbor Glenna Knoblauch’s porch on the 6300-block of Route 5 in Boyd County.

"They took all the soda out of my refrigerator,” she said. “They didn't get the Wal-Mart kind. They got all the good stuff.”

Early Saturday morning, thieves returned and broke into her outbuilding, deputies say.

Robert Ellenberg is Porter's father-in-law and lives across from him.

Ellenberg's dog woke him up about 1:30 a.m. He looked out the window and saw three people in hoodies.

"We've been watching, trying to catch them in the act," Ellenberg said.

He called his neighbors. Porter got out of bed and got his handgun.

"I didn't want them to leave before the police got here," Porter said.

The pastor says he bolted outside. One of the suspects escaped into the woods, but he caught two of them on the porch of Knoblauch’s garage apartment.

"I told them I had a gun,” Porter said, “told them I would shoot them, which I probably wouldn't have. They didn't say a word. They acted like they were terrified."

Porter says he held them at gunpoint until a Boyd County sheriff's deputy arrived minutes later and arrested the suspects.

The deputy arrested Zachery Stevens, 20, of Flatwoods, and Sharon Kitchen, 18, of Ashland. Both were charged with third-degree burglary.

Kitchen was also charged with possession of burglary tools and possession of marijuana.

The third suspect, William Bailey, 19, of Ashland, later turned himself in and was charged with third-degree burglary, deputies say.

"It makes us feel pretty good,” Porter said. “We are our brother's keeper."

The preacher says there's a limit to turning the other cheek, and this was an example of how owning a gun can be an effective way for homeowners to deal with crime.

"Not only is it a law, I think it's a God-given right,” Porter said. “We need to protect ourselves. We've got to face it, there's evil in the world."

Knoblauch says she hopes this incident serves as a deterrent to other criminals.

"I'd advise these kids not to come out here with dope and stuff like that because we're not going to put up with this," she said.

BOYD COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) -- Three people have been arrested after Boyd County Sheriff’s Deputies say they tried to break into a house in Ashland early Saturday morning.

In fact, deputies also say two of the suspects were actually held at gunpoint by a neighbor of the victim until officers arrived at the scene.

The incident happened at a house in the 6300-block of Route 5 in Ashland about 1:30 a.m Saturday.

Deputies arrested Zachery Stevens, 20, of Flatwoods, Sharon Kitchen, 18, of Ashland, and William Bailey, 19, of Ashland. Each was charged with third-degree burglary.

Kitchen was also charged with possession of burglary tools and possession of marijuana.

The Sheriff Office says one neighbor alerted the elderly homeowner about people prowling around her house. The homeowner then called 911.

Deputies say another neighbor also heard noises outside and observed the three suspects on the victims’ porch. That neighbor then got a handgun and confronted the suspects, holding Kitchen and Stevens at gunpoint until deputies arrived.

The Sheriff’s Office says Bailey took off, but turned himself in a short time later.

Deputies say a bolt cutter was used to cut the lock of an outbuilding at the victim's house.

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