Police in Riverhead are searching for two men that allegedly fired shots at a local home and attempted to break into it. This potentially violent crime was reported to the police by the house's residents, which included two adults, a 15 year-old boy, a twelve-year old boy, and a five-year old girl. They reported that an armed man had broken into the home. Police officers later observed shell casings near the home, and the residents stated that the two men fled on foot before the police arrived. The perpetrators were described as two black men wearing masks who were allegedly armed with an undescribed type of gun. No injuries were reported from the incident, and police are still attempting to apprehend the perpetrators.
Violent crimes such as the one in this case need not have any victims to be classified as such. All that is required is the use of a deadly weapon, such as a gun or a knife, to earn the description of a violent felony. For a defendant to be guilty of the felony of assault with a deadly weapon, all that is required is that the victim be put in apprehension of a harmful or offensive contact from the defendant's use of a deadly weapon. The defendant need only attempt to attack the victim to be guilty of this offense.
Burglars typically wear masks to conceal their identity, and they use deadly weapons such as guns to frighten, intimidate or attack any residents of the burglarized home that happen to be at home at the time of the crime. They will also break and enter into the home with the intent of committing a felony such as robbery or larceny. Nobody condones criminal activity, but anyone accused of a violent crime is entitled to a strong, thorough criminal defense, and is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Defendants in such cases should fight the charges by questioning witnesses, challenging the admissibility of evidence and asserting their constitutional rights.
Source: EastHamptonPatch, "Crimes Nearby: Cops Investigate Riverhead Shooting, Break-in," Taylor K. Vecsey, Feb. 28, 2013