Man, 73, faces felony after neighborhood watch gone wrong

Man, 73, faces felony after neighborhood watch gone wrong

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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.
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