Door-to-Door Salesman Shot Just for Knocking

An Oklahoma City man was arrested and jailed on a complaint of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon after he shot a door-to-door meat salesman who knocked on his door. Glyn Mearanto, 33, apparently shot through a screen door, injuring Iowa Steaks meat salesman Stephen Michael Williams. Williams' injury was minor, and a report says that the victim was not even going to report the incident to police until a co-worker told him he "could get $1 million out of this" by calling police. When police arrived at Mearanto's home,  they found him cleaning up the shattered door. When they asked what happened, he said that he noticed a strange truck in his driveway and that he feared for his own safety and that of his young daughter. Mearanto's home is guarded by an 8-foot gate. He has numerous warning signs posted about the property, proclaiming, "No Trespassing," "Beware of Dog," "Beware of Everything," and "Controlled Area – It is unlawful to enter this area without permission of the installation commander." So when he told police that "no reasonable person" would bypass the warning signs to knock on his door, it seems that he has a point. What assumptions would you make about someone who ignored the warnings--some of which featured images of guns--and presented himself at the front door of a home where he clearly was not wanted. Would you think he is illiterate? An egomaniac? Someone just trying to annoy the homeowner? Or could there be a very real possibility that he is an unreasonable person intent on harming the homeowner? Oklahoma does uphold the Castle Doctrine, or the belief that "a man's home is his castle," and it allows the use of lethal force in protecting the occupants of the home. However, the use of lethal force must be in reasonable measure against the threat of violence. As Oklahoma City Police Sergeant Gary Knight told reporters, "You can't shoot someone just because they knock on your door." Learn more about Oklahoma's self-defense laws. Mearanto was booked into the Oklahoma County Jail on Friday, where he was held on $7500 bond. Assault and battery with a dangerous weapon is a felony punishable by a maximum of 10 years in prison:

Every person who, with intent to do bodily harm and without justifiable or excusable cause, commits any assault, battery, or assault and battery upon the person of another with any sharp or dangerous weapon, or who, without such cause, shoots at another, with any kind of firearm, air gun, conductive energy weapon or other means whatever, with intent to injure any person, although without the intent to kill such person or to commit any felony, upon conviction is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment in the State Penitentiary not exceeding ten (10) years, or by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one (1) year. (21 O.S. 645)

Trespassing, on the other hand, is generally punished by nothing more than a fine:

Whoever shall willfully or maliciously enter the garden, yard, pasture or field of another after being expressly forbidden to do so or without permission by the owner or lawful occupant thereof when such property is posted shall be deemed guilty of trespass and upon conviction thereof shall be fined in any sum not to exceed Two Hundred Fifty Dollars ($250.00); provided, that this provision shall not apply to registered land surveyors and registered professional engineers for the purpose of land surveying in the performance of their professional services; and, provided further, that anyone who willfully or maliciously enters any such garden, yard, pasture or field, and therein commits or attempts to commit waste, theft, or damage shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be fined in any sum not less than Fifty Dollars ($50.00) nor more than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), or by confinement in the county jail for not less than thirty (30) days nor more than six (6) months, or both such fine and imprisonment. For purposes of this section, "posted" means exhibiting signs to read as follows: "PROPERTY RESTRICTED"; "POSTED - KEEP OUT"; "KEEP OUT"; "NO TRESPASSING"; or similar signs which are displayed. Property that is fenced or not fenced must have such signs placed conspicuously and at all places where entry to the property is normally expected. (21 O.S. 1835)

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