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Elderly homeowner holds intruder at gunpoint until Largo police arrive

Pinellas County

LARGO, Fla. (WFLA) – Louis DiLena is a retired New York contractor, who was just sitting in his living room watching television when he heard the rattle at the back door.

DiLena, who was only wearing his boxers and a sweatshirt got up to see what was going on.

“And his hand was like this,” DiLena illustrated, putting his hand through the screen door. “He was trying to unlock this lock here. Which he did.”

The “he” DiLena is referring to is 40-year old Gary Harkins.

Largo police say Harkins had just caused a multi-car accident at the intersection of East Bay and Highland which left one woman injured. But investigators say instead of checking to see if she was okay, Harkins took off on foot and ran to the nearby neighborhood where DiLena lives.

What Harkins didn’t know, was DiLena has guns and isn’t afraid to use them. DiLena first spoke to the stranger, not knowing if he was homeless, looking for a warm place to stay, or something else. He smelled alcohol on his breath, so he offered him a beer. That afforded Dilena the chance to go in and retrieve his handgun.

“Finally I got all the way in the house and I was like ten feet away from him and I pulled the gun and went like this (cocking it) I cocked the gun and said, look man, I don’t want to kill you,” said DiLena. “I just want you out of my house. Out of my life. I don’t know why you’re here.”

DiLena called Largo police and officers arrived moments later. “As soon as I seen the police come in, I had the loaded gun and I took it and I threw it on the counter,” said DiLena. “Because I didn’t want them to confuse me with the bad guy because I had the gun. “

DiLena says he’s thinking about installing a security light on the back of his home. He also has to make a trip to the hardware store to pick up some new screens and spline.

Harkins is facing multiple charges including DUI, leaving the scene of an accident and burglary of an occupied dwelling. At his first court appearance, the judge ordered that if he is able to make bail, he cannot have any contact with the victims.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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