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Stupid Case File for July 1, 2006

Laundry Detergent Saves the Day ...

Courtesy of Image hosted by Photobucket.com

The jug of laundry detergent may not have been heavy duty, but the blow to the burglar certainly was. A June 18 burglary at a residence on Valleybrook Drive in Fairburn ended with the homeowner coming out on top, literally. The homeowner is a regular guy, and a hero in his own home.

College Park resident Dino Robinson, 44, was charged with one count of burglary in the June 18 incident, according to Fairburn Police Lt. Toney Williams. Robinson was on probation for burglary, Williams said.

Robinson probably got a lot more than he bargained for at the home of Romeo Hamler, a man who decided to take matters into his own hands.

Hamler said Wednesday he was taking out the trash when he heard something in the laundry room in his garage. Opening the laundry room door, he saw a man inside and quickly closed and blocked the door to keep the intruder from getting out.

“I saw a guy in a red shirt and I slammed the door. It scared him,” Hamler said. “Then he kept pushing and trying to get out.”

But the homeowner would have no part of that plan. Hamler continued to block the door and, during the process, shouted to his wife to call police, reports said. Hamler said the pushing stopped and he heard a noise at the laundry room window, Robinson apparently deciding to see if he could escape through it. Hamler opened the door, which alerted Robinson to the possibility that he might be able to storm pass Hamler and flee the home. But Hamler had other plans. As Robinson ran back to the laundry room door to push his way through, Hamler let the door swing open and waited to deliver a surprise of his own to the burglar.

“I hit him with a jug of laundry powder and he fell to the floor,” Hamler said.

It was all down hill from there. Hamler held Robinson until Fairburn Police arrived about three minutes later.

“What Mr. Hamler did was very heroic,” Williams said. “But residents should always judge the situation if they are considering attempting to subdue a burglar. They should always take every precaution.”

Speaking Wednesday about the incident, Hamler’s concerns were more for other potential victims that might have been burglarized than for himself.

In comparison to the world’s problems, the thwarting of a burglary is a minor thing. And subduing the burglar by hitting him with a jug of laundry detergent can understandably bring a chuckle and a smile to many faces. But it is more than that. It was the action of a man who decided he was not willing to be a victim, a man who decided to take a stand. What could be more heroic than that?


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