Chester County repo agent, homeowner clash has different versions

Chester County repo agent, homeowner clash has different versions

By Adam Farence
afarence@21st-centurymedia.com

TREDYFFRIN >> The Chester County District Attorney’s office has declined to press charges against a Tredyffrin homeowner who allegedly pulled a gun on a repossession agent on Sept. 25.

The repo agent, Chris Martinez, and First Assistant District Attorney Michael Noone’s written statements both say Martinez showed up at the residence shortly before midnight to repossess a vehicle. The homeowner pulled a firearm on him, they agree, and the police were called. But the details of both stories differ greatly after that.

Martinez claims he looked in the garage window and saw the vehicle parked inside, then left the property when the homeowner stepped outside.

Martinez said he walked up to the homeowner and told him who he was, after which the homeowner pulled out a firearm and allegedly said, “I will shoot you dead.”

Martinez said he backed up to his vehicle and left the property. He also claimed the weapon had a laser guided sight on it, which followed him as he left. Martinez said he called the police afterward.

The District Attorney’s statement says Martinez banged loudly on the front door and refused to leave when the homeowner told him to do so. The statement also said the homeowner was an Asian businessman who was “scared due to reports of Asian business owners being targeted at home by violent criminals in the region.”

According to the statement, when Martinez refused to leave, the homeowner “brandished his firearm to protect himself and his family.”

Both Martinez and the Noone’s statement say no shots were fired.

“It is always a concern when a firearm is brandished by a homeowner. However, in this case the homeowner did not do anything criminal,” Noone said in his prepared statement.

Noone’s statement also said witnesses corroborated the homeowner’s version of events, and that Martinez had previously been convicted of making false reports to law enforcement.

Noone described Martinez’s attitude with law enforcement since reporting the incident as “volatile.”

Martinez said his past offenses are not relevant to this case. He described them as “two dumb mistakes in my 42 years, 15 years ago, that’s not even admissible in court after 10 years.”

He also said the homeowner has a previous firearms violation, and provided the Daily Local with the court docket that indicates the homeowner was found guilty of a firearms offense in 2014.

“I take great pride in what I do and have no criminal activity since starting in this career path,” Martinez said. “I didn’t ask for this to happen but when it did I expected the law to protect me and my wife and three children, I guess I don’t matter to Mr. Noon [sic].”

To contact Daily Local News staff writer Adam Farence, email afarence@dailylocal.com, or call 610-235-2647.

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