Politician Takes Law into His Own Hands

By: Stephen McLamb, Bureau Chief
By: Stephen McLamb, Bureau Chief

Knoxville (WVLT) - State Senator Tim Burchett of Knoxville says he's proud of what he did and he'd do it again to protect his property.

As we were the first to report Wednesday, Burchett says he was forced to draw his gun on four intruders at his warehouse in West Knox County.

For the first time we're going to hear Tim Burchett's calm, collected call to 911 as he staked out his warehouse and caught the kids in the act.

And even though police say, taking the law into your own hands isn't always the best idea, Burchett says it was the right thing to do.

After repeated thefts from his warehouse, State senator said he had enough.

"One of them was an adult and they had stolen over six thousand dollars worth of my stuff and I was fed up," Burchett says.

So he waited outside his warehouse and waited.

"I glanced at the door and I saw that one kids fat head," says the Senator.

As they made their way toward him, that's when he made his call to authorities.

A handgun in hand.

"They could have run. They could have done something. They could have pulled a gun on me, pulled a knife on me," Burchett says.

With gun in hand, Burchett said the four suspects did as they were requested.

"The older kid, he was throwing up. He was sick. One kid, he looked like he literally wet in his pants," Burchett says.

The State Senator said it was probably 15 minutes before authorities arrived so he gave the kids some cookies.

"He goes, 'Hey man, these things could be poison.' I thought to myself, you know sitting here with a loaded gun pointed at them, and they're worried about poison cookies....'I don't know.'" Burchett says.

A motorcycle has since been recovered and time to reflect on pulling a gun on these suspects.

"Somebody asked me about taking the law into my own hands and I said, 'well, I did because the law provides for me to protect my property and my person,'" the Senator says.

Authorities say the public does have a right to protect their property and themselves but say calling the police should always be first.

"We would hope that for citizens to stay safe they would get on the phone and call us and let us respond to it."

"And I also do have a permit to carry by the way because I helped sponsor the legislation," Burchett adds.

Burchett says he will press charges against the four suspects he apprehended.

He's already recovered one of his motorcycles and was planning to get a second back Thursday.


WVLT VOLUNTEER TV

6450 Papermill Drive Knoxville, TN 37919 Phone - (865) 450-8888; Fax - (865) 450-8869
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2014 WVLT-TV Inc. - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 4672481