Man, 73, faces felony after neighborhood watch gone wrong

Man, 73, faces felony after neighborhood watch gone wrong

Posted: Updated:
DETROIT (WJBK) - One well-meaning man on the neighborhood watch learned the hard way that trying to protect your neighborhood could land you on the other side of the law.

William Heard, 73, has lived on the city’s northwest side for more than 40 years. Neighbors describe him to FOX 2’s Amy Lange as a "hero" and a "pillar" in the neighborhood.

So, how is it that Heard is now facing a five-year felony?

Back in March, he heard loud noises at the vacant home next door and saw some men carrying out parts of the house. The licensed gun owner grabbed his weapon and walked next door, thinking they might be scrappers.

Turns out, the men were licensed contractors - not scrappers, who were responsible for destroying other houses on the block. When they saw his gun, the contractors said they were calling police, so Heard went back inside and waited.

He tells Lange he never pointed it at the contractors, but just had the weapon in his hand.

Not realizing at the time, Heard’s concealed pistol license had expired while he was hospitalized recently. He admits that was his mistake, but doesn’t apologize for trying to protect his neighborhood.

Heard’s attorney says he will likely qualify for reduced charges.
  • Amy LangeMore from Amy LangeMore>>

  • Former SMART employee's lawsuit battle drags on after 10 years

    Former SMART employee's lawsuit battle drags on after 10 years

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 11:49 PM EDT2014-08-28 03:49:24 GMT
    The case was originally about workplace discrimination. Now it's dragged on for more than a decade despite the case appearing to be one that the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation can't win.
    The case was originally about workplace discrimination. Now it's dragged on for more than a decade despite the case appearing to be one that the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation can't win.
  • Family's home hit hard by storms for second time

    Family's home hit hard by storms for second time

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 8:51 PM EDT2014-08-28 00:51:07 GMT
    For Ericka Page, first came the flood, then the gas line break and Tuesday, the massive tree limb that broke off with part of it landing on her house.
    For Ericka Page, first came the flood, then the gas line break and Tuesday, the massive tree limb that broke off with part of it landing on her house.
  • Police investigate connection of Southfield suicide and Detroit homicide

    Police investigate connection of Southfield suicide and Detroit homicide

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 6:26 PM EDT2014-08-27 22:26:24 GMT
    Police have identified a man's body with a gunshot wound to the chest found under an overpass at 9 Mile and Southfield Tuesday afternoon.At about the time Michael Young, 56, was found, Detroit Police were called to his home - on Westmoreland for a welfare check."The Woman had not been seen since Saturday," said Detroit Police Officer Adam Madera. "We received a 911 call for the well being check and Southfield Police Department showed up all at the same time."Inside police found the body of 56...
    Police have identified a man's body with a gunshot wound to the chest found under an overpass at 9 Mile and Southfield Tuesday afternoon.At about the time Michael Young, 56, was found, Detroit Police were called to his home - on Westmoreland for a welfare check."The Woman had not been seen since Saturday," said Detroit Police Officer Adam Madera. "We received a 911 call for the well being check and Southfield Police Department showed up all at the same time."Inside police found the body of 56...
  • Download the FOX 2 Apps


  • FOX 2 News Five-Day Forecast
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Child, 3, hospitalized after falling from second-story window

    Child, 3, hospitalized after falling from second-story window

    Monday, September 1 2014 11:31 PM EDT2014-09-02 03:31:18 GMT
    A 3-year-old child is receiving treatment at St. John hospital after falling from a second-story window in Detroit this weekend.
    A 3-year-old child is receiving treatment at St. John hospital after falling from a second-story window in Detroit this weekend.
  • Boy, 5, thrown from father's dirt bike and run over

    Boy, 5, thrown from father's dirt bike and run over

    Monday, September 1 2014 11:18 PM EDT2014-09-02 03:18:50 GMT
    Residents inside Northport Apartments in Macomb Township say that Sunday afternoon they saw a 27-year-old neighbor riding a dirt bike with his 5-year-old son along busy Garfield Road.Neighbors say they've seen him riding before -- but this time he had his child with him."The first thing that caught my eye was he was riding in his dad's lap," neighbor Tim Hale said. "And they were weaving throughout drainage ditches which are pretty steep." Macomb County sheriffs say the small, orange dirt bik...
    Residents inside Northport Apartments in Macomb Township say that Sunday afternoon they saw a 27-year-old neighbor riding a dirt bike with his 5-year-old son along busy Garfield Road.Neighbors say they've seen him riding before -- but this time he had his child with him."The first thing that caught my eye was he was riding in his dad's lap," neighbor Tim Hale said. "And they were weaving throughout drainage ditches which are pretty steep." Macomb County sheriffs say the small, orange dirt bik...
  • Flooding, power outages from latest round of storms

    Flooding, power outages from latest round of storms

    Monday, September 1 2014 10:14 PM EDT2014-09-02 02:14:26 GMT
    More flooding and power outages are being reported after the latest batch of storms.
    More flooding and power outages are being reported after the latest batch of storms.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices