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Man uses ax to chase away suspected drug user in Indiana

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- An Indiana man admits he took an ax to a stranger’s truck and damaged the headlight, windshield and the side mirror- but he says he had a good reason.

Dante Jewell said he’s tired of drugs in his neighborhood.

“I did what I did, so I’ll own up to it,” he told WXIN.

Jewell noticed a suspicious truck while on his balcony Tuesday evening.

“Then I saw a needle go into the driver’s arm and I was like,  'Oh no, no! This has gone too far, too much, too many times. I got to deal with this,'” Jewell said.

The original plan was to warn the suspected drug user, but the confrontation quickly went from verbal to violent.

“(He) swung at me with his hand that had the needle in it,” said Jewell.

Jewell then grabbed his weapon: an ax.

“I took a swing at his truck and hit the driver’s side mirror, I think that came off.”

Strike two and three were at the windshield and then another swing was to the headlight.  The broken headlight cover is still in the parking lot.  The blows were enough to break Jewell’s ax.

“I will admit I may have overreacted. I probably should’ve just scared them into his vehicle and left it alone. At that point when you see a used needle coming your way, I mean it becomes about survival,” Jewell said.

Bloomington police said the driver of the truck reported the incident.  He met officers a few blocks away from the apartment complex. At first, the driver told officers he was reading a newspaper when Jewell attacked him.  The driver later changed his story, allegedly admitting to doing drugs and throwing away the syringe before calling police.  When officers searched the truck they didn’t find any drugs or paraphernalia.

“I just wasn’t having it. Especially since in this unit, I know people, some people have kids. There are families that are trying to get by without any trouble this is becoming too much of a nuisance,” Jewell said.

Jewell told WXIN he’s called police over and over, reporting drug deals and dirty needles dumped around his place.  The problem is a personal one for Jewell, who used to be a counselor for Narcotics Anonymous.

“I’ve seen the horrible truth of it,” he said.

He wants that horrible truth to stay away from his home.

“I’m confident they’re not stupid enough to come back. Yes, I’m confident I won’t see them again.”

Bloomington police have not filed any charges in this case and said the investigation is ongoing.