Boyfriend tackles burglar while girlfriend holds shotgun, calls cops

Boyfriend tackles burglar while girlfriend holds shotgun, calls cops »Play Video
Heidi Lusk and Derek LeBlanc

EUGENE, Ore. - A Eugene couple caught a burglar in the act and made a citizens arrest with a shotgun early Sunday morning, Eugene Police said.

Derek LeBlanc was headed to work around 5 a.m. Sunday when he saw a pair of feet hanging out the shattered rear window of his pickup truck parked at his north Eugene home on Kenmore Street.

"At this point I had my car keys in my hand. I threw them, and as soon as he got to his feet I just instinctively took him down," LeBlanc said. "You never know what you're going to do until it happens, but I sure as hell wasn't going to be a victim."

After he tackled a man in his front driveway, LeBlanc said  he began calling to his girlfriend for help.

Eugene Police later identified the man LeBlanc tackled to be Shawn Daniel Johnson.

Heidi Lusk, LeBlanc's girlfriend, said she came outside with a shotgun and a phone. She said she pointed the shotgun at Johnson with one hand and called police with the other.

"He said shoot me. He must have heard me tell dispatch that I had a shot gun pointed at him," said Lusk. "He asked me to shoot him, and I told him he wasn't worth shooting."

Nearly six minutes later Eugene Police responded and took Johnson into custody.

He was charged with unlawful entry into a motor vehicle, theft in the third degree, possession of burglary tools and possession of marijuana.

He was let out of Lane County Jail a few hours later in a capacity-based release.

While Leblanc's fast actions helped police capture Johnson, Eugene Police Lieutenant Doug Mozan said that these situations can get a lot more complicated if a gun is fired.

"I certainly appreciate a person that has the courage to take on danger. At the same time, a lot of prudence goes a long way," said Lt. Mozan.

Leblanc told KVAL News that he plans to start a neighborhood watch on his street.