A California homeowner shot a Christmas-morning Grinch who broke into his home to burglarize the place, authorities said.
Homeowner Nathaniel Blair of Anaheim Hills had just exchanged gifts with his wife and had gone out to move his truck when he encountered a man in a ski mask inside his home. The intruder, identified as 29-year-old Jeremy William Bell, attacked Blair with a large wrench before trying to flee on foot.
The victim ran upstairs and locked the door leading to his wife and 3-year-old daughter. Then he grabbed his 12-gauge shotgun and chased the would-be burglar, shooting him in the back, police say.
The officers had already responded at 11 pm to reports of a man in a ski mask trying to break into a basement window at a nearby home. They rushed back about 3.30 am to search for the man Blair shot.
Within 90 minutes, cops found Bell with minor injuries in the garage of a third home. He was charged with robbery.
California courts have upheld the right of residents to use force against an assailant inside or outside their home, including the right to pursue a suspect even if safety could have been achieved by retreating.