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."



And consider the source you heard this from. Nelson is bipolar and is trying to make up lies for his actions. This had nothing to do with money.


Hey wait a second here....his sexual orientation has nothing to do with this. Wait....oh, bi-POLAR....nevermind.

Cliff Cannon

@ Bailey : As usual,thanks for bringing what's needed most in some of these stories: Laughter


It's hard to make sense of what the truth really is. The whole he wanted to bed my wife thing could well be a lie. Any guy with a kid in the car (well most) would not do a thing like that. He prob took the gun in the house because of a threat the guy made earlier. Who does stuff at 4 someinthing in the afternoon anyway? IDK something isnt right about both storys!


Your starting with the assumption this guy had all of his marbles!


Exactly. The reason this nut snapped was because he was told from the victim's wife she couldn't be a friend to him no more cause he doesn't understand the boundaries of friendship. One minute he's ok with being friends the next minute he's not.....Dr Jeckyl and Mr Hyde.

Kottage Kat

That's what BI-polar is, bi= 2. Is there or has there been a TPO in place? Kat


There is now. Never thought he would go to the extreme he did. What a nut.

I'm that guy

This guy offered money to me for sex with my wife. Why in the world I didn't beat him then I don't know. He tried again and I told him he's done ill never let that happen over my dead body. He wanted to challenge that from me. Out of my thinking I chose to prtect my kids and get him to leave and let the law take care of it. IF there's a next time with similar circumstances he won't be walking out of the house I guarentee that I don't owe nelson a rusty penny maybe an ounce of lead yes, but over my dead body is some other man going in my bed with my wife.


After reading this I know for sure that this is a redneck love triangle ,and please use spell check!

6079 Smith W

@ I'm that guy: According to you it reads like it was allowed to "get out of hand" some time ago. Was a restraining order ever requested? Were authorities ever asked to go talk to Mr. Horst?

My daughter once had a stalker. She didn't tell me because she was afraid of what I would do. She asked some of her cop friends to go talk to the guy and warn him. The idiot still kept it up. So the cop talked to him again - he stopped.


But the main question here, what we're all DYING to know.... Where on Earth did you come up with those colorfully elementary phrases? "he's not going to eat a hamburger at my barbecue." "You come any closer and I'll bleepin,' bleepin' kill you," "You don't pop Papa Bear and the cubs."

6079 Smith W

@ BaileyOriginally: IMO, if I were "in fact" "the victim," I wouldn't be writing that stuff in an open forum. The defense may find something useful, unless of course Mr. Horst is declared insane and unable to stand trial.


Yeah, that's kinda what I was thinking. Any attorney would advise complete silence to a client. Just a quick comment could completely negate the case, and Horst could walk away unscathed, with only his gun, his alcohol, and his new obsession.

Kottage Kat

To simplify, perhaps TMI. Kat

I'm that guy

I never said bleepin bleepin. Reflector can't publish profanity. It was more colorful originally. But the burger statement yeah I say that.

All Lies

Can I ask why you or your wife never pressed charges til now?

Long Duck Dong's picture
Long Duck Dong

First of all, I do sympathize with you for the children's sake, but I think you're making this situation worse by commenting about it on this website. The more you say; the less credible you sound. If you really want to leave things to the law to handle then silence yourself so they can do their job. It's too easy to put spin on people's words. Already, a few of your statements could be interpreted as making threats to harm someone. IMO you should be protecting your family by seeking employment somewhere else and moving them away from here.


How much money? Just curious. Are you married to your high school prom queen or what!?!

southern hillbilly

I have read the comments and now I leave mine. I commend my daughter and son-in-law for the turmoil they are going thru and will go thru. when i found out what had happened in front of my grandchildren i was upset that he didn't kill him . I don't condone what was going on but, my daughter and son-in-law know i love them and will be at their side thru this misfortunate time. the ral victims are the children on both sides. As my daughter knows i love her and will not let any harm come to her or my grandchildren. W ith that being said, Mr, Horst, be glad and thankful it was my son-in-law there and not me. no one will harm my family!

Kottage Kat

Southern Hillbilly, I comend your son for being level headed and putting his family first. You sentiments are shared by most parents. Seldom if ever have I seen on the comments column a parents who has come on and said they do not like their children. Not knowing what put your son and his family in the position they found themselves I will not comment further. This was a situation for whatever reasons. could have had a tragic ending, just be grareful all are safe.

swiss family

when was Judge Ridge replaced with this "Robo Ridge????" I do not know of any real person who has thoughts, feelings and emotions that speaks in such a monotone, dull and robotic manner..And I need to ask how long has this Robo Ridge been working at this job, I mean if he still has to READ every single word that he says to the criminal (alleged) then it might be obvious that we can NOT thoroughly train these robots to actually think on their own, and if that is the case , it might be a good time to retire them...just sayin!!


Bed my wife who talks like that?

All Lies

Apperently "im that guy" does lol


Swiss- Guess what? Being a trial judge is different than commenting on Reflector articles. Feelings and emotion have no role in presiding over a court case. Facts and the law count there unlike the emotion, bias and stupidity the reigns here. I'm glad he reads a script in each case. This insures completeness, accuracy and consistency, helping to reduce the chance of a criminal getting off on a technicality. The judge is performing an important legal function, not playing a role on a TV crime drama. His delivery isn't what should be judged here. So what if he talks in a monotone? I'd say being careful and accurate while speaking in a calm unemotional manner is what I'd expect from a judge, not a reason to retire him. I can't believe I took the time to respond to one of your mindless rants. I know I'm better than that but sometimes a person can only take so much.

Kottage Kat

Swiss and Smith are over on the SR, one is not being recieved too kindly, will let you figure out which one. You post was good and I concur Kat


SWISS once again you are absolutely wrong Judge Ridge is tough on all criminals and crime .This isn't a new attitude for Ridge, he has been tough on criminals since he took office. Why don't you pick on a couple of the police chiefs or the big deal maker?You are way way off base messing with Ridge.

swiss family

did you even READ and comprehend what I wrote???? did I say that he was NOT tough on crime??? did I ask if this were a new attitude for him???? I believe it is you who are way off base... I commented on his "robotic" speaking and showing no personality, emotion , kindness, or anything that even comes close to speaking like any human being does...I guess I just imagine the people who DO NOT have to appear in court on a regular basis, and the anticipation they would have going before a judge, who after all is a Person too, and hearing the monotone readings without any conjecture or influx , like it was just another of the thousands of cases that this or any judge has seen , and being cattle called through like another number....I think that everyone, and I mean everyone wants to feel like they are somewhat important, and definatly NOT another "number" and with Ridges monotone and uninterested feelings, how is anyone supposed to feel like they were even heard on their day in court...????


I guess you caught me Swiss, it is true I rarely read the feces you write and hardly ever do I read every word.The monotone you so passionately complained about may also be interpreted as judicial objectiveness.You know the girl with the bandanna tied around her eyes, non emotional response to alleged crimes.All I am saying is Judge Ridge is not a deserving recipient of your attention.If you want emotion bring a Lawyer.I will say it again from the time Judge Ridge took the stand he has been tough and crime and every criminal that has gone before him.If you want to FEEL LIKE you have had a day in court bring a Lawyer.You will feel something when you pay the bill.

swiss family

I am happy to hear that you rarely read the "feces" that I write... it is NOT meant for everyone.. I write to people that I automatically believe have at least a few active and objective brain cells, and since you completely missed my point BOTH times, unfortunately, you might not qualify to be "tall" enough to take on this ride....I do understand your point that Justice should be unfazed by outside sources like feelings and emotions, and I would agree with you if this were 30 years ago, and people would not have been exposed to all ofg the current and former "Judge shows" like Judy, Joe Brown , Mathius etc.. we see through all of them that sometimes while evoking justice, it might also be important to at least try to act as if these criminals were actual people as well...I never said that Ridge was easy on crime,, what I did say, was that after all of these years, you would think that he could have found some way to at least appear to be human, heck Charlie Browns unclear teacher shows more emotion and feeling through her mumblings, than this guy...