NEW YORK (AP/1010 WINS) — A homeowner who grabbed a rifle from his house and fired warning shots in a confrontation with a group of MS-13 gang members on his lawn faces criminal charges, but his family said he was defending his home from a threatening mass of strangers.

George Grier, 30, fired rounds into the ground and air from an assault-style rifle after arguing with a large group  gathered outside his Long Island home Sunday evening, Nassau County police said Monday. No one was hurt.

His sister, Caprice Rines, said Grier feared for the safety of his wife and two small children when about 20 men converged on his Uniondale lawn after two of them began quarreling. He didn’t know the men, who ignored his requests to leave and kept approaching the house, she said.

Grier's Family waiting in Nassau Criminal Court (Photo/Kathleen Maloney)

“They were swarming on the property,” so he got a hunting rifle he had bought at a sporting-goods store, she said. “He felt like: ‘I have to protect my family.'”

The encounter stirred memories of the case of John White, a black Long Island homeowner who shot a white teenager in his driveway in 2006. White had confronted a group of teens who were spewing racial epithets and feuding with his son. White said his pistol went off accidentally. It happened in Riverhead, about 55 miles east of Uniondale.

White said he brandished the weapon because he feared a Ku Klux Klan-style attack on the family; an appeals court upheld his manslaughter conviction, saying he should have called police instead of getting a gun. White was sentenced to two to four years in prison.

Grier is black; the men on his lawn were Hispanic, according to police and his sister, who said members of their family had demonstrated in support of White.

Grier was arrested on reckless endangerment and weapons possession charges. He was released on $10,000 bond after his arraignment Monday, his sister said. His lawyer and prosecutors didn’t immediately return telephone calls.

A FedEx worker, Grier is the grandson of a local minister and is a church deacon himself, his sister said. He and his wife have two daughters, 2 and 1.

“This is blowing our minds, that he’s being arrested for this,” Rines said. “You’re talking about a family that are believers, and we believe we have the right to bear arms.”

He bought the rifle for self-defense amid concern about recent shootings in the area, she said.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Comments (55)
  1. GRUMPETTE says:


  2. dokemion says:

    Bond is posted to secure the defendant’s appearance in court, he/she faces no personal economic hardship from the conscious decision not to appear in court.

    fort collins bail bonds

    1. Sid says:

      really? I know you know better. Most of the time the family has put up collateral to back up the bond. In this case he probably posted it himself. Also a warrant is issued which will get him arrested if he doesn’t show…that sure is an incentive for most defendants. The person in this case has no record. The chances he will disappear is small as is the chances that the grand jury will indict. so I am not sure what your point really is

  3. Strategizer says:

    We welcome you, Mr. Grier, to Texas if you decide to leave such insanity. Down here though, you may have been arrested, too….for missing your target! 😉

    Good luck in your court battles. Many of us out here in flyover country stand behind you.

  4. James says:

    Yes, firing a weapon into the air in a city could be dangerous, but he clearly had no choice! If anyone should be arrested for endangerment, it should be the gang members. They probably didn’t even get arrested for trespassing!! Most of those gang members are usually armed and many of these fights end up in gun fights where stray bullets can kill innocent people, like the man’s family!! A German tourist died in San Francisco by a stray bullet from a gang fight cross the street. couple of weeks ago.MS-13 is one of the most dangerous gangs and the man knew that. This man is an easy target for cops and it makes for great PR for the gun control lobby!!

    Please join the NRA and try to preserve your rights and protect people like George Grier.

  5. lisa says:

    🙁 Dang, I guess MS-13 owns the prosecuting attorneys in that county? What are they thinking?

    1. Strategizer says:

      As much as I think this is ludicrous, I’m not so sure I blame the prosecuting district attorneys there. They are simply following the misguided law. I blame the NY voters for electing such a government as would draft, pass, and ultimately sign such legislation into law.

    2. Sean says:

      As well as Mike

  6. Doc Shannon says:

    OK, Mike, so the police prioritize calls. He could have called and said a mob was on HIS property and threatening him and his family, according to you, the higher priority call is the shots fired by the man defending himself. This just goes to show you that when trouble is SECONDS away, the police are only MINUTES away!! Had this guy lived in Oklahoma he could have used the gun to protect himself and his family. Just one more reason to leave New York to those foolish enough to live there. Looks a lot like Mexico from here!

  7. Mary G says:

    OMG people who think Grier was irresponsible for firing INTO THE AIR! Did you even read the article? This man obviously knew what he was doing with the rifle and realized that firing into the air was a bad idea so he fired his warning shots INTO THE GROUND. That’s less dangerous than just waving the gun at the gang members. Get a life.

  8. Liza says:

    Matt you were right to react as you did with 20 men on your lawn and 2 babies and wife in the house.

    I know the area of which you live and there are gang members do live in the area.

    I would have done the same!

  9. Christopher says:

    The “White” incident happened in Miller Place, not Riverhead. This could of ended in bloodshed, but the man acted responsibly. Hopefully the second amendment will be upheld and the charges will be dropped.

  10. Alex says:

    Your advices to call the police are senseless. Police will come in a while which would be enough to insult the family. Yes, why nobody from intruders were arrested? Since when trespassing of somebody’s property became just a joke? This man is a hero.

    1. Industry says:

      This is a Liberal Democratic Society now.

      There is NO such thing as a Criminal.

      We have people acting as a response to Social Pressures combined with
      the various prejudices causing rage. Your average law abiding citizen is
      the REAL criminal.

      Call the Police? They will send a Social Worker and Psychologist after you
      and your family is killed to insure that the murderers have not been traumatized
      by the event. IF, your wife and daughter are gang raped, YOU could be prosecuted if they resist and cause mental anguish to their attackers.


  11. Daniel says:

    I agree with Gabi, the niece of Mr. Grier. What would any of us do if we were in his shoes and had moments to decide the best defense against a mob of malice who directly confronts and threatens you. I don’t think any responsible person would stand by while he himself or family members are being carved up like turkeys for a holiday roast. Adrenaline will pump you up to action, to flee or fight. In this case, standing ground with arms was the correct choice over flight – they would have been over run and assaulted and murdered. How are gangs being tolerated in the first place and not hunted to the ends of the earth with no peace, I have no idea. Civilian life is to be civilly lived and protected, first by law and law enforcers, but if they are not available in immediate danger, the second choice is self-defense. The draw back of self-defense is retaliation from such gang groups. Even if you win that round, they will come back until they win or you make it not worth their time (time that they seem to have a lot to waste coming back to violence and revenge).

  12. debo says:

    Only wrong doing was the shots fired.

  13. Christopher Keller says:

    This man’s defence of his house is reasonable, and he should be released. He was confronting a mob.

  14. Sid says:

    The chances are he will testify before a grand jury and I would expect they will refuse to indict. I think the Nassau county DA is running for NY State Attorney General and wants to show she is tough on crime…

  15. Gabi says:

    I am the niece of this man. I want to start by saying that he is as meek as a mouse and anyone that knows him will vouch to say that he would never hurt anyone and that his only intention here was to protect his home and his family. Now what the media is failing to report is that it wasn’t just a group of men, it was a group of GANG members that belonged to the MS 13, an El Salvadorean gang that terrorizes the streets and people of Uniondale. He had every right to fear for his family. All he asked is for them to take their squabble someplace else and they refused. They then turned their hostility towards him. This is when he retreated into the house to obtain his LEGALLY purchased rifle (which he is licensed to have and use) solely for the purpose to get them to leave. When they challenged him and proceeded forward toward the house and then began threatening that they were going to kill his wife and two small daughters is when he fired the gun to get them to leave. To Mike, who is so fervently arguing that my uncle’s behavior was indeed, “reckless”, I just want to say to you that the street where my family has owned their home for over 30 years, is a quiet street where there will sparingly be a civilian just strolling by. You’re making it sound as though it’s in the heart of Times Square. In addition, the only reason the cops weren’t called is because the Shot Spotter had police on the scene before my aunt had an opportunity to call them. I have just spent all day in a courtroom where I’ve seen real criminals get released on their own cognizant. Many of them who weren’t even citizens of this nation and one who was even on parole! One man was convicted of slicing a woman on her face and then stabbing her all the way to her bone in addition to threatening her life. He was released on $2500 bail and a Stay Away order yet my uncle, who harmed NO ONE and who’s only intention was to protect his home and his family was held at $10,000. This isn’t justice people. And Mike, I love the faith that you have in the police department. I truly hope that you never have an emergency where you would need them to appear immediately, because I truly believe that you will find out the hard way why my uncle felt that he needed to take the action that he did to protect himself and his family. For those of you who aren’t trying to paint my uncle as a bad person or some type of hoodlum playing Dirty Harry, I appreciate you.

    1. Bertolucci says:

      Thank you for sharing this with us all. It is deeply significant that the media are omitting that the “crowd of Hispanic men” were actually a bunch of MS 13 gang members. This is one of the most ruthless gangs in existence. Their initiates are required to murder someone in order to be accepted. If any of you had these animals invading your yard, you would have more than enough reason to do what Mr. Grier did: defend his family from terrorists.

  16. Digi says:

    I’m reporting all of you !

  17. nathan says:

    You have been reported

    1. Kevo says:

      Who are you talking to?

  18. Kevo says:

    It varies from state to state in regards to defense of property, family and such. In Louisiana, a person only has to be 15 ft on your property and you can shoot. Here in Los Angeles, you better be able to prove your life was threatened (meaning a person breaking into your home better have a gun as well), or you will get charged. I don’t agree with it, but that’s California law.

  19. debbie says:

    This is crazy…..He was protecting his family and didn’t hurt anyone…Another waste of courthouse time and money

  20. Gustav says:

    How many of the people who trespassed on his property and threatened him were arrested?
    I guess private property ownership is a crime these days.

    1. Mike says:

      I bet none were, because police have to prioritize calls. Makes sense to me, but maybe not to you… a man with firing a gun is of slightly more importance than a simple trespass/harassment complaint.

      But, after all, he never called the cops. He was never a complainant.

      It always amazes me to hear how people interpret things after the police were involved. “Man shot for being drunk” when in reality man shot for brandishing a deadly weapon and refusing to drop it.

      “Man defending his home arrested” … no, man placing untold number of lives at risk when he should have closed his door and called police arrested.

      No, Gustav, it is not a crime to own private property, but this has nothing to do with that. Stop trying to turn the issue into what it is not. You can own property and you can defend it, but reasonableness it what is required by law. This man’s actions were not reasonable. For anyone out there saying “I would have done the same thing,” then maybe one day you’ll be able to express the same sentiment when one of your loved ones loses a life because some maniac wanted to defend his property and a round he let go ended up coming through your window.

      1. debbie says:

        he didn’t hurt anyone, thats the difference. No one lost their life

      2. Mike says:

        He didn’t but could of. He’s not being charged with hurting someone… he’s being charged with engaging in conduct that a REASONABLE person should know is likely to place others in danger.

      3. Sydney says:

        Mike, so how should he defended his property? And why is it okay for police to shot and sometimes kill people for feeling threatened?

      4. Mike says:


        He should have closed and locked his door and called 911. The people of Nassau County pay a lot of money for police service. Let the cops come and do their jobs. You cannot defend property with a firearm. Again – based on reasonableness.

        The police have different rules when it comes to using force because it is necessary to do their jobs. The police can use deadly physical force against someone who is threatening them or another with the same. The police are charged with going and taking care of these things and the law and courts recognize that because of this they are allowed to use force when private citizens have a duty to retreat. Even in this situation a cop would not be allowed to fire “warning shots” in the air. That conduct would be considered reckless and the cop would most likely be charged criminal and departmentally.

        Overall the laws that govern society really do make sense. I don’t see why you feel this guy had no other options other to fire a gun in the air.

  21. nathan says:

    Clearly the guy has a right to defend his home and family. A shot or 2 into the ground would have been fine. Firing random shots into the air is reckless to say the least. And to #1 poster – the internet tuff guy act is so over.

  22. Amy says:

    I am a liberal and I am disgusted by our countrys actions once again. I think all parties (except the bad guys here) are. They excite, intimidate and scare and are considered the victims?! I am totally against guns and their use–but this would be a reason I would want one and it is exactly how I would use one; giving a warning shot and then by supposedly calling the ‘police.’ What the heck is happening to our laws, rights and country.

    1. Mike says:

      You’re disgusted by guns and their use, but you think firing “warning shots” in a populated area is OK? I am not disgusted by guns, I carry one every day. They serve a legitimate purpose in our society. Tell me… where do you think those warning shots ended up? Where could they have gone?

      He was charged appropriately – Reckless Endangerment and Criminal Possession of a Weapon (because used in a crime – no second amendment issue here, so relax militia members).

      1. Cindy Carnes says:

        He was defending his family on his own property. If a bullet had sailed a mile into the air and then came down and landed on one of their heads, then I’d still say.. good!

  23. Rob Richardson says:

    CALL THE POLICE! That is what they are for. That is what good citizens do.

    1. Amy says:

      BTW Rob here in LA the cops just shot a seemingly drunk man b/c he was wobbling around w/ a knife (could have easily been otherwise subdued.) He’s dead. So, calling the police is NOT always the best solution. I think of that every-time I have called.

    2. Cindy Carnes says:

      … and then wait two hours for the police to respond while a mob gang rapes and murders your family.

      He told them to leave his property and they wouldn’t. I’d have aimed for their heads.

      1. Capt Sullivan says:

        You’re right on the money, Cindy. No warning shots.

      2. keith troy says:


        this is MS13… not some jerkoff wanna be tough HS kids

        look up MS13 online.. its a violent and spreading gang in the US…

    3. oncle willie says:

      Call the police and then sit and wait for 10 minutes even if there is an officer available for dispatch.

      He was wrong to discharge the firearm. That is reckless. Possessing a firearm is the correct thing to do after you call the police. At least you can protect yourself, your family and your property until the cops arrive.

    4. Aaron Horrocks says:

      When seconds matter, the police are only minutes away.

  24. Spud says:

    The idea of defending your family or your self drives the liberals into a frenzy. I remember reading about an East Coast area that required you to flee your home when invaded by an intruder. This man was performing his God given right to self defense of his family and himself. If we try to stop people from defending themselves we encourage the criminal element and in short order have complete anarchy and societal collapse. Do we really want to live in corrupt society like Mexico is experiencing?

  25. Doug says:

    HY cops are as useless as teats on a board. They only show up after an incident , than go about arresting j-walkers.

    1. matt says:

      than is used as a comparative adjective, as in ‘i am smarter THAN you’… quite often confused with then which is used to differentiate periods of time.

      please repeat the 3rd grade before you post any further replies on the internet.

    2. Sandy says:

      Hey Doug, The saying is “worthless as teats on a boar hog” (ie: male pig).

  26. Robin says:

    This man did not hurt anyone – he feared for his family – and I think rightly so. This group of threatening men could have been drinking, doing drugs, etd. The man followed his instincts to protect his family. He should not have been apprehended and all charges dismissed.

    1. Mike says:

      Firing rounds from a rifle into the air in an area as populated as Uniondale is beyond reckless… he should have been arrested and charged. This has NOTHING to do with the right to bear arms.

      1. Brandon says:

        terminal velocity on a bullet falling back to the earth cannot kill you, and you are ignorant for not knowing that it can’t.

        the bullet may leave the gun at a high velocity, but fighting gravity, and losing momentum it wont come down with anywhere near a lethal velocity.

        I don’t think you understand just how light a .30 cal or .223 round is, which is what it would have to be since it was a legally owned assault style”baby killing machine gun” rifle.

        there is nothing wreckless about firing a gun into the air, hail from a storm will do more damage to you than a falling bullet.

  27. steven says:

    Well, how does everyone like the democratic party’s multiculturalism system? You ain’t seen nothin’ yet fellas!

    1. matt says:

      what? you’re a moron. turn off the glenn beck.

      1. Capt Sullivan says:

        @Matt – You’re the moron. Deal with it.

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