An elderly man in New York was arrested for shooting two burglars in his house, not for murdering the intruders, but for shooting them with an unregistered gun.
“He was in the kitchen when he heard people in the garage coming up the stairs to the kitchen. When they got to the top of the stairs he told them to stop, but one started coming toward him. He fired three or four shots and struck both.” That’s how the scenario played out as 64 year old Ronald Stolarczyk did what he had to do when two burglars had broken into his home. This being in New York, police quickly arrested Stolarczyk and charged him not for any form of homicide, but for illegal possession of a firearm, because the gun he used to defend himself and his home had been inherited from his father and not registered.
Scenes from life in Governor Cuomo’s SAFE Act paradise: an upstate homeowner has been charged with a felony after he defended himself from two home invaders with what prosecutors are calling an “illegal gun.”
“He told me that when they were coming up the stairs, that as they approached him, that he was scared to death and he thought they were going to kill him. One of the troopers said, ‘did you see anything in their hands?’ He said, ‘I didn’t look at their hands, I just saw them coming at me and I thought to myself, at that point, that it’s either them or me,’ and he just started firing,” (defense attorney Mark) Wolber said.
The homeowner, 64-year-old Ronald Stolarczyk, shot and killed Patricia Anne Talerico and her nephew, Nicholas Talerico. But Stolarczyk hasn’t been charged with a homicide. At least not yet. What has police concerned is the handgun Stolarczyk used.
…Stolarczyk is charged with felony gun possession because investigators believe he used his deceased father’s gun, which he never registered to himself, to kill the two suspected intruders.
So Stolarczyk’s father either gave or left the handgun in question to his son. Under New York’s famously restrictive gun control laws, the son wasn’t required to undergo a background check to receive the handgun from his father. But he did need to have a pistol permit to legally own the firearm and have it registered in his name.
The incident happened in Deerfield, New York, about 40 miles east of Syracuse, in Oneida county.
To make matters more infuriating, it turns out that the now-room-temp pair had previously robbed Stolarczyk. But Oneida County District Attorney Scott McNamara is shifting the blame for the robberies to Stolarczyk, calling him a hoarder and implying that he was just asking to be robbed.
McNamara said “a large amount of property” believed to have been taken from the initial burglary at Stolarczyk’s home was discovered at Nicholas Talerico’s apartment in Utica during the investigation of the shooting.
Items recovered included an old Commodore computer and an old bicycle, McNamara said.
Stolarczyk knew he had been burglarized recently, said his lawyer, Mark Wolber.
Stolarczyk appears to be a hoarder, McNamara said, and among the items he collected were Commodore and Atari computers.
“He had a lot of stuff in his place, and we believe the Talericos knew that, and were under the mistaken impression that the home was vacant,” McNamara said.
The home has no electricity and no running water, the DA said. The home has been condemned due to its condition, he said.
A female accomplice drove the pair to the house,he said. She has been fully cooperating with authorities and has not been charged at this time.
Stolarczyk was charged with criminal possession of a firearm, a felony. The weapon was a 38-caliber Rossi revolver, according to the court paper. Stolarczyk said the gun had belonged to his father, but he hadn’t registered it after his father died.
McNamara said his office typically prosecutes unregistered guns where the homeowner is present as misdemeanors, and not felonies. The first priority is to get the gun registered, he said. It’s not unusual for a family member to die and the gun gets passed onto a relative who doesn’t register it right away.
The handgun was checked, and Stolarczyk’s dad purchased it legally from a local dealer, the DA said.
Stolarczyk has been released from jail on some form of pre trial release, and his next court date is August 5th. However, the state has now seized the home and Stolarczyk has no place to go. WKTV reports “Stolarczyk is being provided with temporary shelter and benefits through Social Services.”