Intruder, homeowner draw guns on each other

A local business owner, with a loaded gun in hand, entered a New London-area home, allegedly looking for another man's wife. Her husband, with his loaded gun drawn, positioned himself in the hallway, with two school-age children hiding in their bedrooms. That's the tense scene described by the homeowner and Sheriff Dane Howard.
Cary Ashby
Mar 31, 2012


The aggravated burglary victim paced the same floor almost exactly 12 hours after the crime in the same spot.

That was when the Murray Road man determined the armed suspect, Nelson Z. Horst, 39, of Shelby, had entered his house by exactly 17 feet about 4:30 p.m. Thursday. Two of the victim's children were home at the time.

"I was pacing ... at 4 a.m. after their nightmares. I kept them home from school (Friday)," the victim said.

The victim said he confronted Horst with his own .380 Cobra semi-automatic weapon when Horst had brandished a handgun at him.

"I was positioned 21 feet away from him in the hallway," the victim told the Reflector.

At the time, the victim was in the hallway near the bedrooms of his 5-year-old daughter and 11-year-old stepson.

The children had been in the kitchen working on their homework when Horst parked his bulk truck, which is used to haul grain, across from the house. The father said he saw Horst reach into the truck, retrieve a firearm and approach his back porch.

"He was there for business," the victim said.

Huron County Sheriff Dane Howard said the incident was "a very dangerous and volatile situation."

However, the sheriff said he's pleased "with the way it ended" since nobody got hurt and Horst was arrested later without incident.

"He admitted to brandishing the weapon," Howard said.


'Most disturbing'

But there was one element the sheriff called "the most disturbing": Horst's 7-year-old son was in the truck during the stand-off with the victim and when his intoxicated father fled the scene.

"He was fairly traumatized by it," Howard said about the boy.

Deputies first placed the boy in his protective custody. He was released later to his mother.

Horst was stopped on U.S. 250 inside the Ashland County line. The Ashland County Sheriff's Office arrived to assist soon after the traffic stop. Howard said the stop was "quite a distance" from the victim's home.

The suspect's blood alcohol content level tested at .04 percent, Howard said. That's exactly the legal limit for commercial drivers in Ohio; otherwise, the legal limit is .08 percent.

At 4:28 p.m., dispatchers received a 9-1-1 call from the victim.

He said he grabbed his own handgun when he saw Horst pull his weapon from his jacket while on the porch. The victim left his cell phone open as he told his children to go to their bedrooms.

"They high-tailed it to the bedroom," he said.


Confronting the burglar

The victim watched as Horst reportedly pulled the gun from his jacket.

"I could see the wood grain of the handle. ... It was a wood handle with a black barrel," said the man, who backed down the hallway near the bedrooms with his handgun ready and the 9-1-1 call open.

"He (Horst) ended up entering the house," he said. "I had called 9-1-1 as I was backing up (in) the hallway."

The man said he started yelling at Horst, who was standing near his son's Pack-and-Play

"You come any closer and I'll bleepin,' bleepin' kill you," he said, recalling what he told Horst.

"He actually stood there and paused for a minute," the victim recalled. "(Then) he started high-tailing it out of the house."

Had he shot Horst, the victim said the suspect would have fallen into his son's Pack-and-Play. The man's 11-month-old son was at his grandparents' house; his wife was at work.

Shortly after the suspect left, the victim's 11-year-old stepson brought his sister into his room with him.

Howard picked up the story from there.

Deputy Brad Polachek was on the road when the 9-1-1 call arrived. He spotted Horst's truck near the intersection of Fitchville River and Prospect roads, which is 2 to 3 miles from the victim's home, and followed the suspect.

"Capt. (Ted) Patrick and I responded from the sheriff's office," Howard said.

Deputies recovered Horst's revolver inside the truck.

"Ammunition was found in the vehicle," Howard said.

When asked if Horst's weapon was loaded when he was inside the victim's home, Howard said "that's a strong possibility."

"It does appear the bullets were strewn across the floor board," he said.


'He tried to bed my wife'

Horst is the owner of Walnut Hill Seed Co. in Plymouth.

"He's been told he's not welcome at my house. I told him that a few weeks ago," the victim said.

"He tried to bed my wife," he continued. "This had been about a year ago. He's been relentless in his pursuit."

The victim's wife hasn't welcomed Horst's supposed advances.

"He was here a week ago," the man said. "I told him he's not going to eat a hamburger at my barbecue."

Horst posted a $100,000 bond early Friday afternoon. He is charged with aggravated burglary, a first-degree felony punishable by three to 11 years in prison and a maximum fine of $20,000.

The suspect also is charged with a misdemeanor count of driving under the influence. He initially was charged with aggravated menacing, child endangering and improper transport of a firearm.

The victim was asked how his family is doing. He said his children were "more comfortable" knowing Horst had been arrested, but his wife "probably jumped a foot in the air ... when the refrigerator clicked on."

Had his children not been home, the man said it's very likely he would have shot Horst.

"I'd have probably played it a lot differently," he said. "You don't pop Papa Bear and the cubs."



The victim was free and clear to shoot if he wanted. Horst is luckey to be alive.


I agree. Free and clear or not, I most likely would have shot him as soon as he cleared the doorway to my house. I applaud the home owners bravery for not killing him. I still believe some important details are missing but who takes children to go and do a stupid stunt like that..


'He's not going to eat a hamburger at my barbeque'. Bravo.


The victim's wife hasn't welcomed Horst's supposed advances.



I have a feeling that we will be seeing this "mans" name in the news, soon....


I am so glad the victim noticed the intruder on his porch and even saw the gun from INSIDE his home.


Well I guess we will have to wait until Horst gets a lawyer, before we hear more about why this happen? This just sounds so bizarre, but then again maybe it happens more than we know?


Just my guess.. There was a little swapping/swinging going on for awhile, one became bored said it's over..other wanted "it" bad.

All Lies

Good guess!


You come any closer and I'll bleepin,' bleepin' kill you


The victim's wife hasn't welcomed Horst's supposed advances. Then maybe she should give back all the money and gifts.


If this is true that still doesn't give someone the right to come in your house with a loaded gun to kill you for your wife????!!!! With your kid in the truck on top of it!!! Great job parenting!!!! I am very glab this father thought about his children first as this pos didn't!!!!! If you came into my house my husband would have done a lot worse - with him trying to bed his wife.......would give him a little more incentive to do it. Not saying that is ok .....but js


My thoughts exactly (Minus all the extra punctuation)

LookingDown little touch when i text......i got nothing lol




I knew it wouldn't bee too long for the friends and family of this idiot to start with the "He is a good guy who made a mistake" and "Free Horst" bull puckey.

All Lies

No this man defently needs to be in jail, you dont do something like that ever, and it makes it worst there were children involed!


Sounds like a puss. I would have splattered his ass from here to timbuktoo. Prolly wouldnt hit him with that junk ass 380 tho.


Sounds like a good dad! Thought of what his kids would have to think about and see......they are freaked out over a man entering their house and dad pulling a gun (that in alone is a lot). I am glad the thought twice. I don't think my husband would have. .380 is a small cal. yes.....but if he has it for ccw or what not, it's perfect.......or would you rather he try to hide a .44? But just a thought.


380 cobra is barely a gun. POS, bigtime. Maybe he didn't shoot the bastard b/c the thing wouldn't fire.

Silver Bullet

Junk Jams


This is definitely a redneck love triangle ,I'm sure they met at the feed and grain store!


Yeah, because only rednecks have love triangles?


If there was a God I would thank him/her for the creation of rednecks. Norwalk would be a ghost town if rednecks were non-existent. As for love triangles, I want to volunteer myself for one with Ms. Gallagher of heroin fame.


No but they don't refer to themselves as poppa bear ..... And the bedding my wife comment was a true redneck vocabulary sentence .....I'm glad the kids are ok ,but think momma bear been stepping out....

6079 Smith W

IMO, the extenuating circumstance is the presence and endangerment of the children. This guy is goin' away for a while.

Important question for the defense: How deep exactly is the wife involved in this love triangle?


Smith there is no LOVE TRIANGLE, Horst is a man who is a stalker!
Our son and his wife have only been married a short time, and this man has been stalking her before our son dated and married her and started a family!

6079 Smith W

@ 4mrSPp: I understand. But IMO a good defense atty. will explore that very question.


I agree with you and others on here about the love triangle. I am willing to speculate the woman has been somewhat stringing Horst along never expecting things to get so out of control.

6079 Smith W

@ -rebel: And it's entirely possible that the "love triangle" was all in Mr. Horst's mind.

Why did the "victim" say that Mr. Horst was not welcome in his house? Had he been "welcome" there before?