Vancouver man says shooting followed Biden's advice

By Paris Achen, Columbian courts reporter

Published:

Updated: July 18, 2013, 8:11 PM

 

A Vancouver man who fired a shotgun in the air Monday to chase away car prowlers says he was following the advice of Vice President Joe Biden.

Jeffrey C. Barton pleaded not guilty Wednesday in Clark County District Court to a misdemeanor charge of illegally discharging a firearm.

Outside of court, Barton said, “I did what Joe Biden told me to do. I went outside and fired my shotgun in the air.”

The 52-year-old is accused of firing his shotgun Monday to scare away three men who appeared to be breaking into his vehicles. Clark County sheriff’s deputies were dispatched at 3:30 a.m. to Barton’s home in the 5800 block of N.E. 124th Street for a report of an auto prowl, according to court documents.

On the way, the 911 dispatcher heard Barton shoot his gun repeatedly, the court documents say. He allegedly told the dispatcher that he didn’t aim at the men — but that next time, he would.

In response to a home defense question in February, Biden said Americans don’t need semi-automatic weapons because a couple of blasts from a shotgun will scare off intruders.

Sheriff’s deputies said that’s only allowed in self-defense.

Barton was arrested and then released the same day on $325 bail. His next court appearance is Aug. 13.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.