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."



Must be one hell of a wife. I agree with one of the comments here. If I was you I'd pack up my belongings, sell the house at take her to the mountains. Keep her concealed. Chances are when the dude gets out anyways he will not be happy. I wouldn't wait around for that douche bag. Unfortunate man. Time to keep her from being so sociable. Must have been TOO sociable. Who knows either way it time to go.


Why in the heck would anyone let them just walk into there house with a loaded weapon to harm them or there childern?The smart thing that the guy could have did was just too lock the door take the kids to the basement and just wait for the cops too arrive there..Instead he lets him enter the house and lets him get that close too him and the kids and a county and a half away before being stopped!!And the boot watch the dude get out of a truck in front of his house and put a gun in his coat and watched him walk up to his front door!!Then pretty much just let him in!It sounds like too me he wanted something really bad too happen!!


That just doesnt make any sense @ all!!Somethings really really fishy about this story!!


My guess is that he's been at the house before and the other guy may have in fact been at the intruders house. At one point they were friends. Now I have no doubt that most of us would have no problem shooting a unknown intruder coming in our home with a hand gun. The fact that these two guys knew each other is why we're not reading that one was shot. I would guess that the man defending him home had a "line" in mind that if it was crossed he would shoot!


For one its a love triangle and two theres more too the story that I know!And still he left the door unlocked thats asking to be harmed that is with somebody that is armed!!


Indecent proposal redneck style !LOL......


still be lmao w/ bed my wife


Don't have time to read all the comments but for those that don't get the language they are mennonite.

Lillie Chaos

All of them?? Seriously??

Kottage Kat

I thought Mennonites were pacifist. Non violent, and the guns make me question this. Thanks Kat


Why do you think the Mennonite community moved him to OHIO? He was originally from PA! Mr. Horst did not fit well in their community, and keep their religious views and church rules so he is here in OHIO!
The homeowner is not Mennonite, he went to the Catholic school on the corner of Main St and Milan Ave in Norwalk, and is from a family that came to our area in 1830.

Kottage Kat

ansrme, Thanks, wasn't quite clear on who was the Mennonite. Kat


Bed my wife comments make sense now......i was thinking....who talks like that?

All Lies

Ya and the victim and both his siblings were kicked out of the catholic school! but what does the school he went to do with anything?


ohhhhhh.......SNAP n SHOOT!!


ohhhhhh.......SNAP n SHOOT!!

Bleeding Turnips

Like John Wayne said "If your gonna be dumb enough to pull a gun, you better be smart enough to pull the trigger."


Honey! it's Jerry Springer he wants us to come on his show! oooooheeee we gonna be famous!!!


I have read most the comments. Thankfully no one got hurt. But, I have to wonder....Why didn't the man that was in the house , lock the door when he seen Horst approaching his home?
But, either way, I'm glad that no one got killed.
I can't really say the victim was wrong, for not locking the door. After all, it is his home.
And I really don't know what I would do, if I had kids in the house with me. BUT ( I damn sure know what I would do, if there weren't any kids! )
As for Judge Ridge.... He is not there to win a popularity contest. It's not his job to make trivial conversation. If he talks in a monotone, so be it. He still gets his point across.


I thought the 11 month old was a girl?


Nelson Horst was not moved to Ohio as he did not meet or fit in the Mennonite community. He was born and raised in Ohio. And as for someone saying the victim being raised in the catholic community I just have to say... So were the Kennedy's! There has to be more to the story than the victim is saying. There are bad apples in every group of society.