Parents of the young intruder shot by columnist Carl Rowan in the yard of his home are assailing the actions of the gun-control advocate now that charges are lodged against their son instead of against the shooter.
Neil and Dinah Smith, while not denying the trespass by their son, blame Rowan for escalation of the post-midnight incident that began with youths hopping a fence to carouse in the journalist's pool.
"Ben's entering Mr. Rowan's pool was a wrongful act, but was that cause for Mr. Rowan to shoot Ben and possibly to kill him?" protested Smith, who told reporters after his son was charged Thursday that the 18-year-old still has a .22-caliber slug in his wrist and may never recover full use of his left hand.
A decision on whether to charge Rowan with possession of an unregistered firearm and ammunition was referred by the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia to the D.C. Corporation Counsel's office, which handles such matters.
But U.S. Attorney Jay Stephens explained that his office determined "there is `insufficient evidence' to charge Carl Rowan" with the more serious "assault with a dangerous weapon on Benjamin Smith."