UPDATED: Homeowner charged in apparent doorbell ditch incident

His wife, 3-year-old daughter and 6-year-old son were in the house.

"This has been a very terrifying experience for the Van Plews," Gerstenzang said.

Lt. Robert Berben on the Bethlehem Police Department said while a homeowner has the right to defend his family and property, Van Plew in this instance chased the juvenile from his property and then tackled him. The boy's father also wished to press charges, the incident report indicates.

"It just gets complicated when you leave your property," Berben said.

He said in instances where there is no threat involved, the best course of action is to call the police.

Gerstenzang declined to comment on specifics of the incidents, but did say Van Plew acted with the intent of protecting his family.

"I thought his response was moderate, but that's going to be up to the courts and the DA," he said.

He went on to say he looks forward to meeting with the district attorney's office to go over the case.

The police department's investigation found the boy Van Plew allegedly tackled had been with three other juveniles, who were having a sleepover in Delmar prior to the incident. None will be prosecuted, once again due to their age.

Gerstenzang, who said one of the chief reasons he was making statements to the press is the Van Plews have been inundated with inquiries from the press, said his client would like to put the incident behind him.

"They would just like their lives back," he said.

Just recently, in Tennessee, the parents of a 17-year-old boy sued the homeowner who shot their son in the leg while he was playing "ding dong ditch." A grand jury decided not to indict the man on aggravated assault charges.

Other stories"albeit not as serious"are not uncommon, with parties on both sides of the prank drawing charges.""

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