A 14-year-old girl visiting Columbus from out-of-town was home alone when two men with guns kicked down the front door.
The girl was here to see her aunt, a Fort Benning soldier, and was only planning to be in Columbus for the weekend. But on the first day of her visit, she became the victim of a home invasion robbery.
"It was pretty hard for her because she's only 14, so it's pretty traumatic for her to be there by herself and then that happens," said her aunt, Chiquita McCall.
In town from the Montgomery, Alabama area, the girl was alone in the house for several hours. But in that short span of time, two armed men just happened to randomly bust down the door of the house on Timberlane Drive where she was staying.
"I tried to barricade myself in, barricade myself with the dresser, and the dresser was very heavy, and I could barely push it, but they got in anyway," said the girl. Her identity is withheld for her protection.
The victim ran upstairs with a kitchen knife and called 911, but she could barely get the words out of her mouth because she was so upset. And not knowing the address where she needed police to respond didn't help anything.
"It was very hard for them to locate where I was at that moment, because I'm new to the town and I didn't know where I was. All I knew was that two guys were trying to break into the home that I don't live in," said the girl.
One of the men found her upstairs on the phone with dispatchers and pointed a gun at her face, but he decided not to pull the trigger. The two suspects grabbed a laptop and television, then fled in a vehicle.
"I ran outside to the neighbors and thank God they helped me. At first they wouldn't let me inside the door, I guess because I was holding a knife and anything could have happened," said the girl.
William Chandler is the neighbor who says he could hear the girl screaming ‘someone please help me,' outside his door.
"We went to the door and I didn't know who she was, because she had just gotten into town that night," said Chandler.
He eventually let her in and helped her communicate to dispatchers where they should send officers.
Investigators told the victim this house is not the only one on the street to be targeted recently.
"The police told her that the house diagonally across to the left, they hit that house three weeks before this. I just thank God that my niece was not hurt because it could have been worse," said McCall.
Prior to kicking down the door, the suspects reportedly knocked first and waited for an answer. The rest of the events unfolded after they didn't receive one.
Police told the victim that in most cases, burglars are hoping to steal from a house that is empty. They offered the victim advice for the future, telling her that if she thinks a suspicious person is knocking at the door, rather than ignore it, she should call out from inside and pretend to be asking her father to answer it. Police said that is usually enough to scare a would-be burglar away.
Saturday, August 30 2014 7:17 PM EDT2014-08-30 23:17:41 GMT
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3933 Washington Road
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