PORTLAND, Ind. — A burglar who broke into a man’s garage has filed a lawsuit against the homeowner for shooting him.
Authorities said David A. Bailey, now 31, of Albany, Ind., broke into the garage of David McLaughlin of Dunkirk, Ind., on April 21, 2014.
McLaughlin, now 33, fired gunshots at the intruder he saw fleeing his property. One of the bullets hit Bailey in the left arm as he ran down an alley.
In September 2014, a Jay County Superior Court jury here found McLaughlin guilty of criminal recklessness in the shooting. Judge Max Ludy later sentenced McLaughlin to 60 days in jail, to be followed with four months on home detention.
In June 2015, Judge Brian Hutchinson of Jay County Circuit Court placed Bailey, who had pleaded guilty to burglary, on electronic home detention for three years. Last week Bailey's lawyers, Jason Delk and Daniel Gibson of Muncie, Ind., filed a Jay County Circuit Court lawsuit against McLaughlin.
While Bailey pleaded guilty to a related burglary charge last year, in the lawsuit he contends that he “had not entered (McLaughlin’s Dunkirk) garage,” about 65 miles northwest of Indianapolis, and “never entered the defendant’s garage for the purpose of stealing property.”
Bailey was in an alley behind McLaughlin’s home in this city of almost 2,500 residents when the homeowner “exited his residence and began firing his weapon into the air in response to a security alarm sound in his garage,” the suit claims. As Bailey fled down an alley, McLaughlin “continued to the public-right-of-way (and off his property) and continued firing his weapon down the dark alley.”
McLaughlin fired three shots at Bailey, the suit contends.
One narrowly missed the Albany man’s head. Another struck him in the back of the arm and pierced an artery, causing “serious and permanent damage.”
The lawsuit asks for “a monetary award in an amount sufficient to compensate (Bailey) for all damages." No hearings have been scheduled in the case.
Follow Douglas Walker on Twitter: @DouglasWalkerSP