A Washington man was convicted of misdemeanor obstruction by a jury Friday after claiming he was taking the vice president’s advice when he fired his shotgun to ward off burglars in his neighborhood.
When Jeffrey C. Barton, 53, discovered men breaking into his vehicles at 3 a.m. on July 15, 2013, he ran outside of his home, punched one of them in the face and shot three shotgun rounds into the air to scare them off, The Columbian reported.
“I did what Joe Biden told me to do,” Barton said. “I went outside and fired my shotgun in the air.”
When sheriff’s deputies arrived to the report of gunfire – an already high-risk scenario – people were inside of cars, some were out. They ordered everyone to put their hands up and said Barton failed to comply with their orders. Barton contends he received “not a polite greeting from law enforcement,” his attorney said, as reported by The Columbian.
The charge of illegally discharging a firearm was dropped in August and the jury found that Barton’s actions obstructed law enforcement, The Columbian reported.
Sentencing is scheduled for March 24, when Barton could receive a maximum misdemeanor sentence of up to a $5,000 fine and/or up to a year in jail, The Columbian reported.
After receiving his verdict, Barton threatened to move.
“You folks have a good time in Clark County because once all that’s said and done, I’m out of here,” he said. “That’s what you get for exercising my Second Amendment rights and protecting my family.”