Man Holds Car Thief at Gunpoint Until Police Arrive

James Paul of Amherst was arrested at the scene by Nashua Police.

Incident at hospital parking lot ends with arrest. Credit: Carol Robidoux
Incident at hospital parking lot ends with arrest. Credit: Carol Robidoux

A man with a permit to carry held another man at gunpoint until police arrived, after catching him in the act of stealing his car from a hospital parking lot.

Nashua Police Lt. Denis Linehan said at about 11:50 a.m. police responded to the parking lot across from Southern New Hampshire Medical Center for a report of a man holding a gun to another man's head. 

"Patrol units responded and we shut down the area and tried to maintain a perimeter to keep pedestrians out of harm's way. Upon further investigation we learned that James Paul, 33, of 32 A Route 101 A in Amherst, was attempting to steal a vehicle parked in lot and the man's car he was trying to steal had a permit to carry, and felt threatened by Mr. Paul's actions. As a result, he detained Mr. Paul at gunpoint until the arrival of Nashua police," Linehan said. 

It took police a few minutes to sort out who was the bad guy, given the situation. But police arrested Paul a short time later. He was charged with attempted unauthorized use of a propelled vehicle, a misdemeanor. Linehan said Paul was inside the vehicle when the other man, whose identity is not yet being released, found him inside the car and in the act of stealing the car, Linehan said. That's when he pulled a pistol on Paul.

"We're not identifying the other man until we are able to talk to some other people, but we have verified he had a permit to carry. By all accounts it appears he acted appropriately," Linehan said. "But I want to stress it's still in the preliminary stage of investigation."

Linehan said from the time of the call until the scene was being cleared, the incident lasted about 20 minutes.

"Obviously we're glad nobody got injured," Linehan said.  
Gail Paquin December 17, 2013 at 09:35 PM
Awesome! One question though...."attempted unauthorized use of a propelled vehicle, a misdemeanor"? I would have thought "attempted grand theft auto, a felony. I am licensed to carry and I dare say I'd get hung out to dry if I held my gun to someone's head because he was committing a misdemeanor.
Apljak December 17, 2013 at 09:44 PM
Gail, It is an odd charge, but regardless, what if you felt threatened and in fear of being harmed? What about Unlawful Entry? If he feels threatened, regardless of the offense, he has the right. That's not to say that there may be an ensuing charge if you un-holster your weapon!
Traffic Guy December 17, 2013 at 09:46 PM
Around here, they'd probably arrest the car owner for harrassing the criminal.
Lou Molina December 17, 2013 at 09:47 PM
Headline: "Would-Be Carjacker Gets Surprised by Gun-toting Car Owner ". The way the article should had started; "Victim holding a permit to carry acted in self defense when confronted with a carjacker". The Gun -toting statement although in someones mind was "ok" it does not portray responsible persons that have the permit to carry firearms, it reflects negatively on us! That's my take!
Steven Narbonne December 17, 2013 at 10:13 PM
Good thing this didn't happen in Chicago or NY or else the gun owner would have gone to prison and the thug would have sued him too.
Jim U Lacrum December 17, 2013 at 10:33 PM
Come to think of it, the thief only being charged with this misdemeanor (ridiculous!) could come back to bite the vehicle's owner, unless this was done by agreement between the victim and the police (e.g., the owner said he'd decline to press charges). You can't legally threaten lethal force against someone for a non-violent misdemeanor.
Davie December 17, 2013 at 10:55 PM
This is the only way to stop these types of criminals although many politicians think that a potential victim's life is not that valuable so they try to block legal gun ownership and carry privileges.
Access Denied December 18, 2013 at 05:51 AM
How about charging the suspect with attempted grand larceny. Wouldn't that be a felony? Unless this car was really a beater. But who steals a beater!
YOSEMITE SAM December 18, 2013 at 06:25 AM
YOSEMITE SAM December 18, 2013 at 06:28 AM
Joe Clark December 18, 2013 at 09:14 AM
This happens thousands of times a week all across this nation, lawful armed citizens using their firearm without firing a shot stopping criminals. Doesn't normally get reported.
Dean Caton Sr. December 18, 2013 at 09:26 AM
As Thomas Jefferson said,“Laws that forbid the carrying of arms . . . disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes . . . Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.” ― Thomas Jefferson,
Tim Tucker December 18, 2013 at 10:39 AM
Good thing the guy was in New Hampshire. The cops in Colorado would have blown him out of his shoes and THEN looked for a carry permit. They really get off on shooting unarmed dogs in this state too. The cops think anything bigger than a Chihuahua is an active threat to be shot on sight.
freddyp December 18, 2013 at 11:03 AM
Good JOB!
One Man Wolf Pack December 18, 2013 at 12:57 PM
Mr. Paul deserves citizen of the year or the proverbial "key to the city" for his effort to make a stand!
Dan Crabtree December 18, 2013 at 02:23 PM
Here is one of these storys the libs claim you never see happening....soooo heads up libs...it does happen after all..
Albert Gazalooch December 18, 2013 at 02:44 PM
Damn gun hugger foils car theft! Gotta love that libbies!
Albert Gazalooch December 18, 2013 at 02:46 PM
The term "gun toter" is more fitting of a person who carries one illegally!
RICHARD BONNET December 18, 2013 at 04:56 PM
It's too bad that honest citizens in New Jersey are not allowed to protect themselves. Aman at the Short Hills Mall in New Jersey was Killed a few days ago by a Car Jacker from Newark where Car Jacking is a way of life. We should be allowed to protect ourselves.
Jim Cottrell December 18, 2013 at 04:59 PM
If I were carrying legal, and saw Mayor Bloomberg being mugged, I would step across the street and watch the show.
Marvin Harrison December 18, 2013 at 05:08 PM
Another example of how a lawfully carried weapon stopped a crime without anyone getting hurt.
Ernie Bridge December 18, 2013 at 05:09 PM
Yes, in NH it's called a license; if you're not a crazy or a criminal it's your right. A "permit" implies that government is allowing you to have it. And congratulations to the Union Leader for reporting it!
Lyle G. LePage December 18, 2013 at 05:13 PM
Its too bad that the bad guy couldn't have made a menacing move, of some sort. Maybe the victim could've put a few rounds in the ten ring & the court system wouldn't be over burdened, huh?
Brian White December 18, 2013 at 05:46 PM
Bet the car jacker voted for Obama and "thinks" he's getting free healthcare now. God Bless the 2nd Amendment.
yannaro December 18, 2013 at 07:14 PM
Some years ago when carjacking first became popular, two fellows, armed, tried to carjack a man in Washington, DC. He was an FBI agent. One dead, the other in the hospital.
Plee December 18, 2013 at 07:15 PM
Brian White, The car thief is too stupid to know where to vote. He probably can not afford Obama Hussein's health care debacle, but I do agree with you on the 2nd Amendment.
G.d. Stevens December 18, 2013 at 08:32 PM
Wolf Pack - Dude, read the article. "Mr. Paul" was the criminal. The real "hero" was not named........
Thomas Watkins December 18, 2013 at 09:26 PM
Donald Bess...........so you think that because he was a legal gun owner and had a permit to carry concealed he waould have shot the guy for running away............you sir are an idiot......and that's all I have to say about that........thought maybe you would understand that.
One Eye December 18, 2013 at 09:55 PM
I am surprised when they seen the gun all of them didn't draw and start shooting.
Michael Manley December 18, 2013 at 10:57 PM
There ain't no such thing as a pistol permit in NH. I think the author of the article meant to say "pistol/revolver license".


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