Charles Brian Smith was arrested Monday.

Smith was believed to be under the influence of bath salts at the time of his arrest.

Courtesy photo

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.

Contact Reporter Chris Paschenko at 409-683-5241 or

Reporter Whitney Hodgin contributed to this article.

(12) comments

Lars Faltskog

ROTFL - who needs to see CSI or Burn Notice? Just read the police section of the Daily News. If this guy were a preacher who ran a church, there'd be dozens of forum writers scurrying to defend the guy's honor and integrity.

Brittnacher and my other feeble sheep followers - hear ye....ya must find you some "Old time religion" and repent your ways. Come, join my church and you can do whatever awful things that come to mind (bath salts, coke, abuse women) and then be loved and forgiven. Halleljujah!.

Lars Faltskog

Oh, my comment was directed at the Smith criminal, not the 79 year-old Brittnacher. Brittnacher's da bomb![thumbup]

J. Shaffer

Perfect response: disable the trespasser, disarm him and then get yourself out of harms way.

Larry Kirkendall

LOL...owned by a 79 year old senior. I hope I can do that when I'm 79. Good for this citizen and I hope the perp's fabricating a good story for the pen.

Lawabiding Citizen

The suspect is lucky to be alive. The homeowner had every right to use deadly force in that situation.

Laura Spencer

Just crazy with all these home invasions. These criminals need to be shipped to a 3rd world and see what it really is like having nothing! We all have worked hard to have the things we have it certainly did not come free for any of us...Freaking jerks.... we are locked and loaded here at night!!!

Miss Priss

[beam] Way to go Mr. Brittnacher! Love it!

Marine One

79 year old WWII era men and women understand what today's men and women don't. Stand and fight for what's right. Regardless of their elderly status and frail physical condition, the spirit can't be broken.
Drugs make folks become illogical and animals. Luckily this elderly citizen didn't end up as a statistic.
After reading another post about "knowing better" to be out walking their dogs at midnight, what error did this gentleman commit?

Pat Barrios

Way to go!! I love a feel good story where the good guy wins - we don't see this very often. Great job, Mr. Brittnacher!

John Dechon

"LOL...owned by a 79 year old senior. I hope I can do that when I'm 79." -- gulfcoasttexan.

Well, you can: Come join us at "Tae Kwon Do for Senior Citizens" -- Moody Methodist Church/Galveston (53rd St.).

John Dechon

gulfcoasttexan: 'Tae Kwon Do for Senior Citizens' @ Moody Methodist Church, Galveston.

Island Bred

This is the best story I have read all month!! Senior Ninja!!!!! I luv ya man!!!

I'm still having trouble gettin up off the floor!!

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.