Gun brandishing homeowner explains her side, takes issue with news coverage.

April 18, 2016
Seng

Seng

Letter to the Editor, by Wilma Seng, Hesperia. 

If you lived on the river,  you would know how rude fisherman are and how much garbage they leave on your property and how many times they decide to relieve themselves directly across the river from your house.  You tell them to leave your property and they swear at you and call you names  and keep on walking.  Some of them do not know the laws of where they can or cannot fish.  They are to stay in the river unless there is an obstacle that they cannot possibly wade around.  Only then, are they supposed to be on land.  Once around that obstacle they are supposed to be back in the river.   Maybe if you were in my situation, you would have been tempted to do what I did.  My husband passed away 15 years ago.  I promised him that I would not sell the property.  We had trouble with fishermen back then and the problem has only  worsened.  I don’t think that you would want people using your front yard as a bathroom.  This happens at my house 3 or 4 times a week.

Now that I live alone and ½ mile from any neighbors, I was protecting myself the only way I could.  I felt threatened.  I brandished my pistol, which was not loaded and not pointed at anyone.  I only told one guy to get back away from my car and he kept coming.  That is when I lifted my pistol.  Only had it in my hand for about 3 seconds as he backed away.  Therefore I don’t know where 3 felonies, that I was charged with, came from as of that point in time.  I had told one of those guys earlier that day to get back in the river because he had peed on my property on the other side of the river in front of my house.  He asked me if I wanted him to pee in the river.  I told him that I didn’t care where he peed as long as it wasn’t in front of my windows and on my property.  When they left the river, it was on my property and they were walking away, and again I only saw 3 people.  I told them to get in the river and stay there until they got to the broken bridge.  One of them told me f++k you, get back in the house.  That is when I went down to my property by the bridge, and they came across the river and up the hill headed for their cars. I told them that they were still on my property and that is when one of the guys came at me.

You portray me as a criminal, as you have printed 4 articles about me since March 14, 2016.  Three of the articles had that awful mug shot in them.  The last article on 4-7-16 implied that I was to be incarcerated for 90 days with credit for time served.  People don’t really understand discretionary jail time.  All they see is jail time.  I have never been in trouble and did not deserve to be crucified in your paper.   Also, I do not feel that is right for anyone’s address to be printed in the paper.  Obituary notices do not have addresses because some homes have been burglarized while everyone was at the funerals.  As I said, I live ½ mile off the road and to print my address in the paper is an invitation to burglarize my home should I have had to spend time in jail.  Now that the authorities have taken away my constitutional rights to own a gun, I feel vulnerable.  I really feel that the image you seemed to portray in your articles was not the true facts and why did you have to print those articles 4 times?  Wasn’t there any other news that was more sensational than a 75 year old woman against 3 or 4 unruly fishermen?

In conclusion, I may be 75 years old, but I take care of my 100 acres by myself.  I mow, I rake and I tell you what, I may not have a gun but I have the support of 90% of the Village of Hesperia and the surrounding community, and I am armed with my video camera and have the DNR on speed dial and I will prosecute anyone that is on my property without permission.  

I doubt if I will see this printed in your paper, even though I think it should be published in the Letters to the Editor.

Sincerely,

Wilma L. Seng

P.S.  If you are so hard up for stories, maybe you should interview the people that live on the White River or any river.  You would definitely hear of the problems we have with fishermen.  They feel that they can just walk anywhere they want and no trespassing signs do not apply to them.

Editor’s Note: Oceana County Press posts all arraignments and criminal court proceedings that occur in Oceana County. The information is received through court records and is available to anyone from the public, including mugshots and mailing addresses.

On April 4, 2016, OCP posted an article reporting that Ms. Seng pleaded guilty to the reduced misdemeanor charge of brandishing a firearm in public. She was initially charged with three charges of felonious assault. The first sentence in the April 4, 2016 article stated: “Wilma Louise Seng, of 4445 S. 198th Ave., will not be sentenced to jail, but must forfeit all of her firearms, said Oceana County Prosecutor Joseph Bizon.”

This is the information that was posted on April 7, 2016, along with all of that week’s 78th District Court sentencings: Wilma Louise Seng, 75, of 4445 S. 198th Ave., Hesperia, was found guilty April 4 of brandishing a firearm in public and sentenced to $400 in fines and costs; 90 days discretionary jail to ensure compliance with court orders; credit for time served if imposed; and she is ordered to transfer her gun to family within 14 days or forfeit it to the state. Three counts of felonious assault were dismissed.

We do admit that we did portray Ms. Seng as a criminal, as stated in her letter, because she is a criminal. She broke the law — brandished a firearm at another human being — and then pleaded guilty to the charges against her, that makes her a criminal.

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