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."



Hopefully this fruit loop will be understanding the word no real soon but it will be more like NO Bubba NO!
Hope you like the color red PSYCHO Nelson.


A terrible thing happens n people try to make it worse! GROW UP FOLKS!!! Keep your ignorant comments to yourself..... This man thought of his children 1st, something alot of parents should learn! And why only Aggravated Burgulary? Where is Child Endangering? Etc..... I applaud how he handled this "situation.“ I'm afraid it would of been a different ending @ my house. I'm soooo glad everyone was okay.
Now lets see if the courts will do their part?????


Just look at his picture. Engine's running but no one's behind the wheel......oh wait that's right the nut left his son in the truck. There goes his father of the year award....sorry your dad's such a loser kid. The trauma that kid went through getting pulled over by the deputies at gun point.


Just look at his picture. Engine's running but no one's behind the wheel......oh wait that's right the nut left his son in the truck. There goes his father of the year award....sorry your dad's such a loser kid. The trauma that kid went through getting pulled over by the deputies at gun point. Atleast the victim's kids have such a great dad looking out for them.

Kottage Kat

I am just loving the Smith & Alter Show, or is that Ego & Ego show, whatever it is, it is entertaining , Thank you Kat


:-) we need a like button on here.

6079 Smith W

@ KK: Familiar with anyone without one?

Kottage Kat

Mr. Smith, You are just a HOOT, love the non- name calling self thou art. You are doing great keep it up, and making my day. Kat exits humming " You are my sunshine" seems to be your theme song. Just having fun, you are taking this way toooo seriously, and need to lighten up a wee bit, sir. Kat

6079 Smith W

@ Kottage Kat: And humility doeth suit you. No "ego" in that post eh? :)

You'd best do well to recall for yourself the "lighten up" if and when I next critique His Honor.

Kottage Kat

Please go right ahead. You critique is respected, perhaps not agreed with, always respect your right to do so. Kat


...and DON'T call him Shirley ;)

6079 Smith W

@ BaileyOriginally: Looks like I picked the wrong week to stop responding to the blog nuts. :)

Most Wanted

I wonder if Mr. and Mrs. Horst are still married? How embarassing this all has to be for her if they are. This guy's gonna get shot coming or going if he's still married to Mrs. Horst.


She is still married to him and said he just needs to continue counseling...well it hasn't helped him yet.

All Lies

The only victims are the children of both parties who have to suffer through this! This man may not be all there in the head and yes what he did was wrong! However he has given this family alot of money and i wonder what he got in return for it? Hmmmm cant wait for it all to come out ;)


Spoken like a true criminal.

All Lies

How am I a criminal? Im not the one taking guns into other peoples houses, nor am I a married woman excepting money from a married man...... Js


The kids are definitely victims here but they are not the only ones. Doesn't matter what the circumstances it is NEVER ok to go into someone's house with a loaded weapon. Or is it ok to stand up for a nut like that.

All Lies

Im not standing up for him at all! I just believe people as parents we need to remember that our actions have consequences, every action has a reaction, not saying its right!


Someone comes into your house with a gun, your kids are there, what are you gonna do? What a stupid argument.

All Lies

I wouldnt put myself in a situation where.that would happen! This wasnt a random act of violence!


I would have shot between the legs 1st and if that didn't stop him in his tracks then the next round would be between the eyes. An armed intruder is still an armed intruder whether caused by money, love, or just plain old stupidity.


Interesting statement that attempts to slightly defend someone who could and maybe should have been a dead man. If someone owes you money it does not make it legal to take a ride with your son and attempt to barge into someone's house with a gun.


The only mention ever of money was nelson offering to pay for sex with this guys wife. Why do ya think the home owner don't like him much and now nelson is trying to cover his arse.


Didn't he realize: "he's not going to eat a hamburger at my barbecue."


I"m still glad I read your paper after moving from greenwith, the worthless newsjournal don't have this story and I live real close to the store what this nut owns.


An old Beatle's song comes to mind. " Cry Baby Cry."


I by no means condone what this Nelson did but I do know what led up to the confrontation. This guy owes Nelson a lot of money. Im not sure on how much money it is but I was told its around $50,000. Nelson has been tryin to collect the money from this guy for a while. When he stopped in last week the homeowner was said to have threatened Nelson if he ever shows up again to collect money. There was some fault on both sides.

All Lies

Thank you!!! Thats what ive been tryn to say!


So you are saying, that it is okay to collect money with a gun, been drinking and your kid in the car? Great parenting! If that is true he should of used the courts. but looks like he'll be using the courts anyway.