Homeowner detains burglary suspect until sheriffs arrive

Erik Jonathan Smith (Source: Tipton County Sheriff's Department)
Erik Jonathan Smith (Source: Tipton County Sheriff's Department)

By Jamel Major - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

DRUMMONDS, TN (WMC-TV) - Bruised and beaten, Erik Jonathan Smith said Tuesday he was sorry for breaking into his next door neighbor's home.

The incident happened in Drummonds around 9:00 Friday night, when Smith broke into the home of his neighbor, Miguel Canada.

"I told him I was sorry last night," Smith said. "He told me he should've killed me."

Smith is charged with aggravated burglary and possession of burglary tools.  He's not sure why he decided to break into the home.

"I don't know...I just wanted a ******* beer," he said.

Investigators said Canada arrived home Friday night and noticed his door had been pried open.  When he went inside and found Smith armed with a screw driver, a fight broke out.  It didn't last long.

"That man broke my jaw with one lick," Smith said.

"Apparently he didn't want to put the screwdriver down, and the homeowner had to do some means of disarming him, and it got physical," Tipton County Sheriff Pancho Chumley said.

The homeowner then held Smith down until deputies arrived.

"I don't encourage homeowners to put themselves in harms way, but Tipton Countians will protect their property, and that's what happened in this case," Chumley said.

Smith said he hopes his neighbor can forgive him.

"Everything just went downhill." he said. "I lost my wife. I lost my ******* house.  I've lost everything I could possibly lose.  In the last year everything went to hell.  I'm sorry!"

Investigators said Smith has a long criminal record and has been arrested several times before for drug possession. He is scheduled to appear in court later this week.

Copyright 2009 WMC-TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.