An Attempted Break-In Leaves An Orange Grove Couple Shaken But Thankful To Be Alive

Michael Biss is a navy veteran of the Vietnam war.  But, the 59 year old says despite all his combat experience, the fight he had Thursday night with a man trying to break into his home was the worst he's ever experienced.

"He climbed through the screens like so. When I got out here, I was standing over here at the door, and he just lunged at me," says Michael Biss.

He said from that point the fight was on with whom police have identified as 30 year-old Shane Beiarano.

"I asked my wife to call the police, lock the doors and hand me my handgun," says Biss.

Biss said he fired two shots into the porch floor to scare the Beiarano, but it didn't seem to slow Beiarano down.

"He came at me harder again, and he had me bent over, and I was fixing to loose the fight. I shot him in the leg that made him madder then I cocked and shot again.  I had to shoot him a third time in the other leg, and it still didn't work," says Biss.

Neighbors of Biss heard his cries for help and helped him fight Beiarano off. Shortly, thereafter, police arrived at Biss' house.

"When the officers confronted him he was very resistive and combative with the officers.  They were able to take him into custody and give him immediate medical care from the gun shot wounds," says Deputy Chief Alfred Sexton, Gulfport.

Neighbors say what's frightening is that people like Beiarano, whom they believed to be on drugs at the time, are a common sight in the neighborhood.

"There are single women here in this neighborhood with children. What if that would have happened to one of them one night," says Robert Welch, neighbor.

Gulfport police say they are working to keep crime out by patrolling the area.   But, neighbors say they want to be sure to do their part to help keep their neighborhood safe.

"We all decided to form our own little neighborhood watch, but we're going to be on alert and this stuff has to stop in this neighborhood," says Biss.

It's a step Deputy Chief Sexton says is critical to keeping both this neighborhood and the city safe.

"We encourage people to step forth and eliminate that out of their community," says Sexton.

Deputy Chief Sexton says Gulfport has two community watch coordinators and police are more than willing to work with the neighborhood to get it up and running.

As for Beiarano, Police have charged him with failure to comply and resisting arrest, a misdemeanor. Chief Sexton says the investigation is on going, but Beiarano could face additional charges.