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Homeowner uses MMA training on would-be burglar

LAWTON, Okla_A would-be thief picked the wrong house to attempt his burglary on. The man who lived there happened to be a mixed-martial arts fighter. Tim Johnson said he was relaxing at his home in southwest Lawton Tuesday morning, when he saw a strange silhouette in the window. When he went to check it out, he saw a burglar, stealing his tools from his front porch. Johnson said he went outside to confront him and the thief started to fight. That turned out to be the thief's second big mistake.

The fight lasted about 15 minutes but he said he felt like it went on forever. Johnson, who is well over six feet and packed with muscle, has been a MMA fighter and coach for six years, so he was well prepared for this fight. He said before he walked outside to confront the burglar, identified as Charles Smith, he considered letting him go, but everything changed when Smith became combative.

"I come around and I ask the guy, ‘what are you doing?' He looks at me and he is just stunned and said ‘whoa whoa, I am sorry,' then he stands up and said what are you going to do about it."

Johnson said that's the moment his years of mixed martial arts training kicked into gear.

"I get him in what's called a body triangle, where I wrap my leg around his torso and put it behind my knee and I had my arm in a guillotine and then his phone fell out of his pocket, so I picked the phone up and dialed 911, while I have him choked up at the same time talking to the police."

He said he managed to tell dispatch he'd nabbed a burglar and needed help, but Smith knocked the phone out of his hand and managed to break free. The fight was on again.

"So this kind of a Ju Jitsu trick, I let him think he was going to get up, so I let him get up and I gave him two really good shots to the ribs. I had to cause he would not stop, after that I mounted him, got him in the rear-naked choke and held him till the cops came."

Charles Smith is now sitting in Comanche County Jail on charges unrelated to this crime. Johnson said he decided not to press charges against him. He also said he also could have seriously hurt Smith, but said that's not what martial art is about and that's not the message he wants to send to his students.

"A lot of them were wondering why I didn't hurt the guy more than I could have. Mixed martial arts are to show discipline and self defense not to hurt, so that was a great example of that."

Another interesting twist to this fight, Johnson said Smith tried to bargain his release by offering Johnson coffee and creamer he'd stolen from somewhere else. Now, police and a few of Johnson's neighbors called him a super hero, but he said he is just an ordinary guy put in some extraordinary circumstances.

Smith has been in trouble with the law before. Court records show he was arrested on four warrants, including one for bogus checks and driving under a suspended license.

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