Ask a Cop: Can I shoot kids with a BB gun?

Sgt. Chris Yagelski

Q: I own a small farm in La Porte and since school is out some kids have been coming on my property messing around in my barn. Am I legally allowed to shoot at them with a BB gun just to scare them?


1. What? Why would you think that it would be even remotely OK to shoot at children with a BB gun?

2. Wrongful use of a BB gun as force against another, especially a child, can land you in prison for a long time!

3. BB guns are not toys. They can and have killed people.

4. The use of force is generally restricted to "reasonable self defense."

5. Whatever trespassing these children may have done, shooting at them with a BB Gun is way beyond the realm of reasonableness.

6. Re-read 1.

Q: I really need your help. My girlfriend is 17 and turns 18 in August. Her parents really don't like me, and she is more than ready to move out of her parents' house and just move in with me in my apartment. They threatened to call the police if she does. Can the cops do anything about it since she is close enough to being 18?

A: Sorry, the answer is "yes," they can call the police. Unless she is emancipated by her parents, she cannot legally be on her own at 17.

Oh, and "close enough" is not a legal term that is recognized by any court or any law enforcement officer!

Q: My dad has a police sticker on his car bumper and a police baseball cap in the back window. He thinks this will help get him out of a ticket. Is this really true?

A: Actually, no. Politeness and honesty are your best friends in a traffic stop. Many police officers already have an idea of what enforcement action they will take when they stop you. However, honesty and good manners are so refreshing that many officers appreciate and may give you a break. Rudeness, on the other hand, can turn a warning into a court appearance.

Q: If someone just admits to a crime without wasting time in court, will a judge take a suspect's cooperation into account when deciding on a sentence?

A: Not speaking for judges, however "yes" would be the answer. Judges have a lot of discretion when handing down a sentence and many factors come into play such as criminal history, injury or damages to victims, recovery of evidence, and cooperation with the police.

The winner of the $30 gas card sponsored by our friends at Rittenhouse Assisted Care was Judith Galligan of Valparaiso. The answer to last column's riddle of what word do you get after crossing out all of the letters in the riddle? Of course the answer was, CORRECT.

The sponsor for this week's riddle is Ric Federighi and our friends at WIMS Radio here in Michigan City. The winner receives a $30 gas card. Thanks for all your support with the "Candyland Kiddie Parade!"

Candy Barr has been murdered and Detective Radiger is on the case. He interviewed the four suspects and their statements are shown below. Each suspect has said two sentences.

One sentence of each suspect is a lie and one sentence is the truth. Help Detective Radiger figure out who killed Candy Barr.

Bob: I did not kill Candy. Either Greg is the killer or none of us is.

Greg: I did not kill Candy. Albert is the killer.

Matt: I did not kill Candy. Greg is lying when he says Albert is the killer.

Albert: I did not kill Candy. If Bob did not kill him then Greg did.

The 5th correct answer by phone or email at exactly 1 p.m. today wins!

To answer a question or ask one, contact Sgt. Chris Yagelski at 873-1461, Ext 1020, or email

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