News 1 August 2016
Author: Marisa Lee

Burglar dies after homeowner tapes him to tree

Author Marisa Lee
1 August 2016

68-year-old Nathanial Johnson decided to fight back against burglars who were targeting his mobile home in Mobile, Alabama, by creating a trap to catch the culprits. Things didn’t go to plan however, and he might have punished the burglar more than he intended to.

According to news station WALA-TV, he parked his car at a neighbour’s house so it looked like nobody was home, then returned to his house and waited for the burglars. He turned the lights off inside and left a car mirror near a window so he could watch what was going on outside.

Johnson told the police that someone knocked on his front door before midnight, but instead of answering he continued to wait and then heard them move to the back door and break the lock.

He confronted the suspect, later identified as 31-year-old Cleveland Jones Gully, causing him to fall or jump off the back steps where Johnson then tied the man’s hands behind his back.

Police said that after tying Gully’s hands up, Johnson taped duct tape over his mouth before tying him to a tree using electrical wire, rope from a clothes line and masking tape. Johnson then went back to his neighbour’s house to call the police. 

Washington County Sheriff Richard Stringer told WALA that Gully was “still alive at that point, and there was no indication that he was dying.” When the sheriff’s deputies arrived at Johnson’s home 10 minutes later though, Gully was dead.

Stringer told the news station that Gully, a nearby resident with a reputation for breaking into houses, had cuts all over his body from the wire used to tie him up but no other injuries. He added that Johnson was held in custody for 72 hours, but is not facing criminal charges while authorities wait for Gully’s autopsy results.