McKay is the young father who, seeing a local druggie breaking into his truck and stealing the tools he uses to pay the bills, confronted him, subdued him and held him for the police. When the police arrived, they found the bad guy had a knife, a billy club and — thanks to the unarmed McKay — a broken jaw.This particular story had a "happy" ending - the District Attorney declined to prosecute - but things might have turned out differently if it hadn't been for the publicity generated by the Boston Herald. The police can't have it both ways. They cannot, on the one hand, insist that they're not liable for not protecting you and your property, and on the other, prevent you from protecting yourself and your stuff.
Instead of thanking McKay for helping get an armed criminal off the streets, Swampscott officials charged him with a felony. As a Swampscott police spokesman said at the time, “We don’t urge anybody to fight back. We want them to call us.”
Update: Daytona Beach authorities have a more commonsensical attitude (H/T: Jeff).