Lehigh man arrested for shooting at trespassers fleeing from his property

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William Marchsteiner, who lives in Lehigh Acres, says two people were trespassing on his property Friday afternoon.

Marchsteiner says a siren on his property alerted the people who were snooping around that they had been spotted. And once eye contact was made, Marchsteiner says the duo took off.

“They just drove real slow laughing and taunting at me, then he goes ‘I got something for you fat man’. That’s when she ducked down and he went to reach. That’s when I fired,” Marchsteiner said.

The homeowner fired two rounds at the fleeing vehicle, but what happened afterward took the 56-year-old by surprise. He was arrested by sheriff’s deputies that night.

“I’m like, ‘are you kidding me?’ You’re gonna ruin my life for doing the right thing?
They told me once they were driving off, the imminent threat was gone,” Marchsteiner said.

He spent a night behind bars for the first time in his life. Deputies say the concealed weapon permit holder fired his gun into an occupied vehicle, which is why they arrested him.

“In the castle doctrine and the facts we’re dealing with here, it doesn’t sound like the person was coming in or currently in the property or dwelling,” said attorney Lance Dunford. “They were leaving, so argue they were in imminent danger or an imminent threat, that’s were I think this gentleman is going to run into some issues.”

“To me, I respect the law, but I have got to the point I don’t respect the sheriff’s department like I did,” added Marchsteiner.

The homeowner says he’s planning on fighting the charges.

Dunford adds that if you’re ever caught in a similar situation, it’s best to pull your cell phone out and document everything you can.

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