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."



OK, enough, we are not rednecks, My son protected his children! My son and his new wife have only been married about 20 months, This man has stalked her for at least a year before our son dated her, married her, and started a family together! Mr. Nelson Horst, is not a person who believes in marriage is forever, My son did what was right and protected his family first, so please stop the negative comments, and know that our family are the VICTIMS! Hope and pray the TPO works, agains Mr Horst and our family will be safe in their home. CASTLE LAW should apply in this case, if Horst returns to cause problems to our family. 2nd amendment and CCW is th only way you can protect your family, as out in Hartland we are 15 good minutes away from local law enforcement! I am proud my son thought about his children before he caused harm to the person who invaded his home and endangered his children!


Oh comes the family. Now normally in these situations, once family and close friends jump on, I pounce. In this case, though, momma, I agree with you. Regardless of the circumstances, this psycho had NO RIGHT to come into a house, let alone with a gun. That's obsession. Scary. Smith, maybe you're next on his list! ;)

6079 Smith W

@ BaileyOriginally: Next on the list???? Kindly explain.


lol ;)

6079 Smith W

@ BaileyOriginally: I probably have enough blogger nuts "gunning" for me. Any doubt as to why I don't use my real name in order to protect my family????


Oh I hear ya....things get heated on here sometimes. When the typing turns to ALL CAPS, look out!

6079 Smith W

@ BaileyOriginally: You shoulda seen the hate mail and heard the nasty phone calls I would get when I lived elsewhere and wrote what I thought was a relatively 'benign' Letter to the Editor.

With the preponderance of Appalachian- Americans here, I felt somewhat safer when I lived in Chicago.


I call BS, but if you feel that unsafe, move back to Chi-town. I hear Rahm has put a stop to all the the Chicago corruption....

6079 Smith W

@ AlterEgo: Just mention "blogger nuts" and they show up on cue. Good boy.


be careful. "Blogger nuts" may be flagged. I wasn't allowed to use 'o-r-i-f-i-c-e' in another article!

6079 Smith W

@ BaileyOriginally: Understood. However, "our friend" helped to make my previous point did he/she not?


I'm the "blogger nut"? You get on here an whine about everything, how long it takes to sell your house, how the steel industry was the start of the decline in the 70s, how non-profit don't pay property taxes, how grest it was when you lived in the city of Chicago, and how Mayor Duncan isn't working fast, and in most cases you are completely wrong, but you call me a "blogger nut"...hmmm okay....

6079 Smith W

@ AlterEgo: And rather than attempting to have an intelligent and rational debate with differences in opinion, you personally attack and are psychotically obsessed with my comments? What are you, fourteen yrs. old?

If the shoe fits - wear it.


Who personally attached who? I said I call BS that your Chicago neighborhood was safer than Norwalk. I said if you feel unsafe you should go back to Chicago and you called me a blogger nuts. Who is the immature one? You are a whiney crybaby on here who bItches about everything, whether it affects you or not, and then when someone calls you out you claim they are personally attacking you. Oh, poor hooo...nobody loves you, whaaaa,,,,,LOL

6079 Smith W

@ AlterEgo: Have a nice day Cupcake, you've slid too far off the "weird scale."


Ask the family where all the money came from that paid for the house they live in

All Lies

;) hehe i dnt have to ask


The victim and his children live in a rental home, owned by his parents, so the money spent on that house is mine and his father's. I am proud our son thought about if a stray bullet would have hurt one of our grandchildren. Let the courts do there job now!

All Lies

Maybe you own the house they currently live in.......


only a couple said stupid comments.....and they normally are the same old ones!!!! Good for your son! Thought it through, glad he did....many wouldn't have and he sounds like the perfect person to have a ccw. Good person defending his family. This is the castle law to the t. Prayers that this sob leaves your family alone!!!!! I know my husband would have blown his head off and we would be dealing with a whole nother story!!!! Hope the children dont have nightmares anymore as they have a good guy looking out for them!


Hopefully this ends the stalking (although I doubt it), but if the TPO fails I'd suggest a 12 guage next time. One less "defendant".


@ ecartman- exactly. Need to teach this bastard a lesson. He sure as F wouldnt have made it in the door if i saw him approaching w/ a gun.


Touhe Pops!

I'm that guy

Its easy for people to judge what they'd do but when it gets down to it there's to many what if's possible. I coulda killed him easily. But what if he got a shot off? Hit me? My kid? What if? Hindsight is always 2020. I shoulda ended him period. Yes I am a red neck I call it american, redneck, white trash and blue collar that's red white and blue in my book. F u naysayers and to little white lie guy to


Maybe he's not after the woman at all. I'll bet he's got a bad case of H.E. (Hairline Envy) Did 'you people' ever consider that he was on his way to the bathroom medicine cabinet to see how this 'victim' has kept his hair?


I don't think this scum will be out any time soon. He committed a felony which the judge must impose at least a minimum amount of punishment. If wrong please correct me.

Every day I give thanks that something like this hasn't happened to our family, such terror.


Busy day for the Sheriff's Office.The intruder is lucky this story didn't end with pending the Coroners findings.I am sure the right to defend our home and family is in the constitution.Good job catching this guy DEPUTIES and way to look out for your family and protecting the ones that need it,FATHER.


Ok first of all the woman involved in this made it very clear all the time that she could only ever be a friend to this psycho. She is very devoted to her husband. He's just a mentally challenged PSYCHO that doesn't understand the word NO and doesn't know where to draw the friendship line. He obviously doesn't understand the lifetime commitment that comes along with the wedding vows. I feel sorry for all his wife and kids have to go through but its all his fault and his twisted mind.

I'm that guy

Yes I should have painted the wall with nelson. There's no love triangle here. Just a psychotic guy that can't take no for an answer. Believe me if my kids wouldn't have been home Dane Howard would have more paper work to do. And the toe tags would have been used. Thanks for the positive comments. And yes. I'm that guy


If you are "the victim" I would like to say that I applaud your actions. I think it takes more courage to do what you have done and not shoot this guy as soon as he stepped foot in your house with a gun. I hope this guy appreciates what you have done by sparing his life.