Earlier this week, a suspected burglar climbed on top of a home in La Puente, California in an attempt to evade police, resulting in an hours-long standoff with sheriff’s deputies. Frustrated, the homeowner, who is an 83-year-old grandfather, brought things to an end by climbing up himself and pushing the man off the roof and into police custody. Thankfully, the whole incident was captured on video by his granddaughter.
At the start of the video, the homeowner, Wilford Burgess, is seen on the roof approaching the suspect while he backs away. Burgess, however, closed the distance between the two of them in a matter of moments. He then grabbed the suspect and pushed him off the roof after a brief struggle. He landed on Burgess’ car, shattering his windshield. Upon impact, several officers rushed over and placed the fallen man in handcuffs. He was then admitted to a hospital for a mental evaluation.
Following the incident, Burgess spoke with reporters and provided them with more details. “I made up my mind. I said, ‘he’s on my roof. Whatever it takes, he’s coming off,” he stated.
He then went to his neighbor’s house and asked to borrow his ladder. “I said [to my neighbor], ‘I need your longer ladder. I’m going up on the roof. That sucker is coming off.’ I used some choice words, but [made it clear] that he’s coming off,” recalled, Burgess, who mentioned that staying in shape is an important part of his life. “I tell everybody, just because you’re old doesn’t mean you’ve got to sit down. As long as you’re able to move, [then] move,” he reasoned.
When asked if another moral to the story is to not mess with him, he replied, “well, you know, in some ways, I only go so far and take so much [before] I have to show you the other side.”
Wren, who was asleep in the house when the standoff first started, told reporters that she had been woken up by police yelling, “we know where you are. We can see you.” Throughout the standoff, she mentioned that she could hear him running around above her. “My grandfather was so upset,” noted Wren. “[He] told him, ‘you need to get down and off my roof,’” she added.
On Facebook, Tim Murakami, the Captain of the Industry sheriff’s station, praised Burgess for putting an end to the standoff. “Standoff w/ man jumping on roof tops ended by [an] 83-year-old man who got tired of his games and pushed him off. The grandpa did what we couldn’t,” he wrote.Although this standoff ended without anyone getting killed, this is not always the case. For example, earlier this year, Burgon Sealy, Jr., a 26-year-old living in Delaware, shot and killed Corporal Stephen J. Ballard, a Delaware State Trooper, outside of a Wawa convenience store.
After killing the officer, he returned home and locked himself inside. While fleeing the scene, he called family members and told them what he’d done. They then relayed that information to the police and told them where he lived. Law enforcement officials surrounded his house and tried for over 12 hours to get him surrender. Despite their attempts, he refused to cooperate. They ended up having to smash in all of the home’s doors and windows. Then they threatened to destroy what remained of the building with a bulldozer if he didn’t come out. Shortly after mentioning the bulldozer, he charged out of the building and fired indiscriminately. Officers returned fire, killing him instantly.
Burgess’ bravery is extremely admirable. He voluntarily put his own life in danger to protect his home and family. Hopefully, his act of courage inspires others to do the same when they’re put in a similar situation.