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Benicia Homeowner Shoots Drunk Man Who Thought He Was Breaking Into His Own Home

BENICIA (CBS SF) -- A drunken man who thought he was locked out of his own home broke into another Benicia home early Wednesday morning and was shot by the homeowner, police said Wednesday.

Mike Zaretsky, the homeowner's son, told KPIX 5 found out about the shooting from a phone call.

"I picked it up and it was my dad, and I could tell something was wrong," Zaretsky said. "He was kind of shaky and almost crying. And the first thing he let me know is that they were okay, but he shot someone this morning that broke into the house."

The 66-year-old homeowner called police around 4:30 a.m. when he saw someone banging on the glass door at the rear of his residence in the 100 block of Panorama Drive, police Lt. Mike Greene said.

The homeowner told the intruder, later identified as 24-year-old True Hatch, to leave several times, but Hatch didn't respond and smashed the glass door with an object he found in the back yard, Greene said.

"He was yelling, 'Why you keeping me out? I can't believe you locked me out.' My dad yelled, 'You don't belong here. This is not the right house,'" Zaretsky said.

True Hatch
True Hatch (Benicia Police Dept.)

The homeowner armed himself with a handgun because he feared for his and his wife's safety, Greene said. Hatch entered and walked further inside the home as the homeowner yelled at him to leave, Greene said.

"The guy just kept coming in, so he fired one round, hit him in the leg. The guy even yelled back, 'I can't believe you shot me,'" Zaretsky said.

Police arrived and took Hatch into custody.

Hatch went to a local hospital for treatment of a non-life threatening injury. Hatch told police he drank a considerable amount of alcohol at a nearby friend's house before he left to walk home, Greene said.

Hatch mistakenly arrived at the Panorama address and broke the sliding glass door because he thought he had locked himself out of his home, Greene said.
Police are still trying to determine where Hatch lives. He was arrested for trespassing, vandalism, prowling and public intoxication, Greene said.


TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

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