“You know, after we get the money, we’re going to kill you.”
That’s something that nobody would want to hear, especially if you’re physically disabled. But for roommates Doug Downs and Andy Boyd of Chanceford, Pennsylvania, it was all too real. Luckily, the men had two secret weapons: a firearm and their ruthless attack dog, Peaches.
According to reports it all started at 12:40 a.m. on Tuesday when two men, James Herlth and Chad Heath Miller, used a shotgun to blast the lock off of Downs’ home. Both of the men were masked and carrying weapons.
Miller immediately pulled Boyd down into the basement and ordered the man to unlock the safe. Little did Miller know that it was a gun safe. According to Boyd, the masked robber “really freaked out” when he saw the guns. If this were a Hollywood movie, this would be the sudden twist that would put control back in the good guys’ hands, but unfortunately it didn’t work out that way. The thief kept his gun pointed at Boyd’s head, so Boyd couldn’t have drawn a weapon to defend himself.
Meanwhile, there was a similar confrontation going on upstairs. Downs, who is disabled, was in his recliner when Herlth burst into the room. That’s when their attack dog, a tiny little pooch who probably weighs 10 pounds soaking wet, went “bonkers” and attacked Herlth. Downs seized the moment and grabbed the .380-caliber handgun that he kept hidden in his recliner. He fired three shots at Herlth, who simply took a step back and then slid down the stairs.
Downs reported that he thought the robber must have been wearing a bullet-proof vest, but in actuality his aim was true. Downs struck Herlth in the chest, shoulder, and neck.
From there things went south for the robbers. Miller called for an accomplice who was waiting outside. Together the two men carried Herlth to the car and sped away. It’s also worth noting that the accomplice, 26-year-old Robert Dale Young, fired a shotgun during the confusion and accidentally struck his buddy, Herlth, in the arm. Woops! That brings the total number of times Herlth was shot to four.
What do you do with a guy who has four gunshot wounds? There’s really only two options – grab a shovel or drive him to a hospital. The thieves picked the latter option, and from there it didn’t take long for the police to figure out that two plus two equals four bullet wounds. The police arrested Young and Miller, along with a fourth man who had allegedly waited in the car during the robbery.
The men were slapped with a laundry list of charges, including attempted homicide, aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, conspiracy to commit robbery, robbery, and a few others.
Boyd and Downs have since installed a new lock and an alarm system. They received “hundreds (of) calls” from the community after the shooting. Downs added, “I felt bad because I had to shoot (Herlth). But it was either him or me, and I wanted to live.”
That’s probably all the sympathy that these criminals are going to get. Based on the evidence, the violent nature of the crimes, and the eye-witness accounts, mercy is probably going to be the last thing on the judge’s mind when these criminals are prosecuted.
It’s great to see that a disabled person is willing to fight for his rights. Stories like this one truly illustrate the importance of firearms. It doesn’t matter how big you are, or how willing you are to hurt innocent people. Put a pistol into the hands of a law-abiding citizen and suddenly you’ve created a criminal’s worst nightmare.