LEAGUE CITY — With a karate chop to the throat, a 79-year-old resident disarmed a rifle-toting man who was accused by police of being high on bath salts while trying to break into a home.
Ervin Brittnacher awoke shortly before 6 a.m. Monday to a racket in front of his house in the 3000 block of McFarland Road, League City police Lt. Bruce Whitten said.
“We talked to the homeowner, who said he woke up to a guy banging on the porch,” Whitten said. “It sounded like he was ripping the screen off.”
Brittnacher opened the door to see what was going on.
“He struck him once, took the gun away and shut the door,” Whitten said.
Police arrived and arrested Charles Brian Smith, 38, of Alvin, and the Galveston County District Attorney’s Office authorized a second-degree felony charge of attempted burglary of a habitation with intent to commit assault. Smith’s bond was set at $40,000, Whitten said.
Brittnacher used the side of his hand in a karate chop to the throat before taking the rifle, a .223-caliber Ruger Mini-14. Brittnacher then closed the door and called police, Whitten said.
“He continued to hear the guy yelling,” Whitten said. “He wasn’t making any sense to him. He was talking, but the speech wasn’t making sense.”
Police arrived and found Smith in the front yard. Officers also found damage to the front porch and Smith’s truck parked nearby. The truck had old bullet holes in it, Whitten said.
Police reported they found “a highly intoxicated suspect, exhibiting signs/symptoms similar to the drug ‘bath salts.’”
Police arrested Smith without incident, as he followed the officers’ commands.
“We’re not sure he knew what he was doing,” Whitten said. “Bath salts make people do strange things. We had one naked kid running down South Shore Boulevard last year. When they get on that stuff, you never know what they’re going to do. This one turned out fortunate for everybody.”
Police reported no injures. Smith remained at the Galveston County Jail on Monday afternoon.
An attempt to reach Brittnacher for comment was unsuccessful.