Army veteran holds intruder at gunpoint; raises Castle Doctrine questions

By: Alyssa Fenske Email
By: Alyssa Fenske Email

LA CROSSE (WEAU) - Police say an intruder was trying to break into a camper when the owner was notified, and took matters into his own hands.

Neighbor Victor Galloway noticed someone breaking into his friends camper Wednesday night.

He and property owner Dave Beving dragged the intruder out of the camper and held him down at gunpoint until police arrived on the scene.

Police say it was close to becoming La Crosse’s first Castle Doctrine case.

Dave Beving has his camper parked just behind his apartment building.

The intruder has been identified as 20 year old, Graham Ness.

Ness broke the window to sneak inside the camper, but a neighbor noticed him.

“I heard him in the back, and I ran and grabbed Dave," said neighbor Victor Galloway.

They called police, but decided to catch Ness before he got away.

“When we came down he was still in the camper. He didn’t want to come out, and we dragged him out," said Galloway.

That’s when Dave pulled out his gun.

“I should be a hero for saving the guys life because Dave was going to shoot him," said Galloway.

Police arrived on the scene not knowing that a gun was involved but quickly got a hold of the situation.

“The owner (Dave) complied as soon as the officers arrived. The weapon was put down, they secured the area, and began the investigation," said Sgt. Randy Rank with the La Crosse P.D.

Sgt. Rank says this incident was the closest to a Castle Doctrine case La Crosse has had in a while.

“It had the potential to become a Castle Doctrine case, but fortunately it wasn’t," said Sgt. Rank.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Well done on Apr 22, 2012 at 08:20 PM
    whats right is right, Job well done
  • by Scott Location: Altoona on Apr 21, 2012 at 11:24 AM
    Oh, yeah everyone is just stellar. Not only was he not in extreme danger this was not a home so sorry castle doctrine. I don't think so.
  • by concerned Location: eau claire on Apr 21, 2012 at 10:55 AM
    Why should it raise questions? The old saying says "when you play with the bull, you just may get the horn". The guy's lucky the owner didn't shoot him (which he should have). No need to raise questions about the law. This law is the best thing that has came along. I know if he was breaking into my place, he wouldn't have to worry about an earthly court to judge him.
  • by BIG DAN Location: UP NORTH on Apr 20, 2012 at 07:29 PM
    GREAT JOB,MY HAT'S OFF TO YOU!
  • by RealityCheck Location: Chippewa Falls on Apr 20, 2012 at 07:09 PM
    Good for Victor and Dave. When seconds matter, the police are only 10 minutes away:)
  • by Peter on Apr 20, 2012 at 06:17 PM
    If he did shoot him, it wouldn't have fallen under the castle doctrin. Deadly force cannot be used in the protection of property. If the owner was in the camper at the time, it would have been a different story. Of course a gun was involved, so it's news.
  • by Ryan on Apr 20, 2012 at 06:10 PM
    I see nothing wrong with how this was handled! This is what the law was supposed to allow.
  • by Default Setting Location: Eau Claire on Apr 20, 2012 at 06:00 PM
    This is a example of what the castle doctrine law was not intended to be use for. It is a guy like this that make the rest of us look bad.
  • by corn80 Location: home on Apr 20, 2012 at 05:49 PM
    Job well done boys. Need more good people like that. It makes me sick when people invade your personal property.
  • by RC Location: Eau Claire on Apr 20, 2012 at 05:32 PM
    Wait, so the perp was caught and arrested, and no one was hurt or injured... yet omg this is why the castle doctrine is horrible?? the kid just picked the wrong guy to mess with. He's lucky he was held at gun point. My husband is former military and I've seen some of the holds they can put people in.... he's lucky he didn't get one of those until the police arrived.
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