Councilman issues crime warning

After burglars rummaged through two cars belonging to Jackson City Councilman Marshand Crisler and fired a shot near his home, he had a message for parents.

“Be mindful and have more control over your kids,” he said. “It’s summer, and schools are out. Kids are liable to get into mischief and could get hurt or killed by protective homeowners.”

Crisler, who represents south Jackson’s Ward 6, said he was tending to his young daughter at 3:30 a.m. Friday when he saw a dome light on in his SUV.
“I heard them say ‘Somebody’s at the door,’ and I ran out,” he said. “I used some choice language, telling them I disapproved of what they were doing.”

As the burglars ran off, one lost a shoe. Minutes later, when Crisler was back inside his house, he heard a neighbor yell. “My neighbor was outside having a smoke and saw the one come back,” he said. “I was at the door when the guy fired a shot at my neighbor then ran off.”

Crisler, who is a former Utica police chief and Hinds County Sheriff’s deputy, had returned to the door with his pistol.

He said the neighbor was not injured and it was unclear if anything was taken from the unlocked Chevrolet Tahoe or Mazda Millenia. Crisler said the vehicles are driven by his wife and son, who must have mistakenly left them unlocked.

Jackson Police Department spokesman Robert Graham said Friday evening no suspects had been caught. “The case has been assigned to a detective,” Graham said. The burglary happened in the 2200 block of Monaco Drive, and police have a description of two young men, he said.

Graham said he didn’t know if the neighbor was directly fired at or if the shot was fired into the air. If that is determined, it could be filed as a separate case, he said.

Crisler isn’t the first councilman to experience crime firsthand. Ward 1 Councilman Ben Allen scared off an axe-wielding burglar from his rental property with a shotgun blast in 2003. Later that year in an unrelated incident, Allen was robbed and carjacked.

“I’m just astounded that the one came back again,” Crisler said. “Parents need to understand that people have a tendency to protect their homes and families at all costs.”

Clarion Ledger
5/28/5