Police: Incoherent intruder shot by homeowner in Dover Twp. driveway
No charges have been filed against a Dover Township homeowner who shot a rambling, incoherent man in the leg in the early-morning hours of Christmas Eve after the man ignored the homeowner's repeated orders to leave the property, according to police.
Matthew Thomas McCleary, 38, of Springettsbury Township, was taken to York Hospital for treatment of his injuries, according to Deputy Chief Dave Lash of Northern York County Regional Police.
After being released from the hospital, he was arraigned Tuesday, Dec. 24. He is free on $10,000 unsecured bail, charged with the felonies of burglary and criminal trespass, as well as the misdemeanors of simple assault and loitering and prowling at night, according to court records.
Lash said the York County District Attorney's Office will review the case and make the final determination about whether any criminal charges will be filed against the homeowner, 58-year-old Daniel Geyer.
However, Lash noted that Geyer's actions appear to be protected under Pennsylvania's castle doctrine use-of-force law, which allows people to use force — including deadly force — without first retreating from a threat if they are on their property, at their workplaces or in their vehicles.
Charging documents filed by Northern Regional Police state that Geyer was awakened from sleep about 1 a.m. by loud yelling in his driveway, prompting him to grab his .357 Magnum revolver and head outside to his driveway.
He spotted McCleary — whom he didn't know — pacing in the driveway and told him to leave, police said. Geyer then walked inside via his back door to retrieve his cellphone before going back outside.
'Talking incoherently': He again told McCleary to get off his property, at which point McCleary walked toward him, documents state, adding that's when Geyer called 911.
"Geyer advised the male was talking incoherently and advancing towards him in a threatening manner," charging documents state.
McCleary was clutching a pamphlet in one hand, waving it in the air "while he stumbled around," according to documents.
Geyer later told officers he kept moving around to try to keep away from McCleary and told the man several times to stay back, police said.
"Geyer advised McCleary then lunged towards him, causing Geyer to fire a warning shot in the air over McCleary's head," documents state.
But McCleary didn't seem fazed by that and again lunged toward Geyer, according to charging documents.
Shot in thigh: That prompted Geyer, who was in fear for his life, to fire a second shot — this time hitting McCleary in the thigh, police said.
McCleary fell, got up, fell again, then lay in the driveway yelling in pain, police said, adding that officers arrived about that time.
It was then discovered that McCleary had gone inside the home, police said.
Geyer's front door was standing open and there were two pieces of mail from a nearby church lying on the living room floor, said police, who determined the pamphlet McCleary was clutching came from the same church.
Police said they have not yet determined how McCleary got inside Geyer's home or for what purpose.
Anyone with information about the encounter that might help investigators is asked to call Northern Regional's crime tip line at 717-467-TELL or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Reach senior crime reporter Liz Evans Scolforo at email@example.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.