Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Break In...Part 2

Part One is HERE.

Adam jumps from our bed and runs to the office.  When he gets there he first notices our cat Bentley standing on the desk.  They lock eyes and then Bentley turns to the window and Adam follows.   He realizes he is staring at the man that had previously been at the front door.  This time he is half way through the window in our office. 

Adam starts yelling..."Get out of my house".   I hear a lot of loud noise from the bedroom.   I learn later Adam punched him and he fell back out of the window.  Adam comes flying down the hallway and yells at me to lock myself in our room and call 911 then my dad. 

I call 911.  The same woman answers the line from our previous call.  My voice is shaking.  "I need the police please, our home has been broken in to by a naked man."  She laughs.  "You mean to tell me they didn't get him the last time you called." 

"No ma'am."

"Are you in a safe place."

"Yes. I am locked in my bedroom. I am just nervous because my boyfriend has left the house to try to find him."

"OK. Whatever you do, just stay where you are.  The police are on their way.  Stay with me on the line until they arrive."

We chat back and forth about my pregnancy and how scared I am.  We run through the possibilities of what exactly could be going on with this man.  We assume he must be drunk or on drugs.  Adam has already made the call to my Dad and he arrives and immediately comes to check on me.

"Babe, it's Dad.  You OK."

At this point I'm in tears and get off the floor to open my door.  The police have arrived and I hang up with the 911 operator. 

The police come inside and search the house.  They exit through the back door to search our crawl space and that is when we realize something incredibly bizarre.  The intruder has dug through all of our trash and sorted it in to piles on our screened in porch. We all conclude he most likely was out there the entire time we were in bed.  He cut the screens in the window with a razor he found in the trash that we had used weeks prior to scrape paint off of our windows. 

They search the crawl space.  Then the shed.  No trace.  They come back inside and check all of our windows to make sure they are locked.  They instruct me to stay inside while they, along with my Dad and Adam search for the man in the neighborhood.

A solid hour passes.  I chat with my mom on the phone to try to take my mind off of things.  She cannot wrap her head around what is going on but tries to calm me down for the sake of the baby.  My Dad comes to the door.   He asks me to make him a cup of coffee and he's off again. 

By the time coffee is made, I open the front door to find my Dad and Adam shaking the hands of the police officers as the sun is coming up behind them. 

"What's the deal?" 

Adam looks at me.  "We didn't find him."

Just as the police officers start to come towards me I see something out of the corner of my eye.  Right  where the houses back up to the creek directly across the street. 

"That's him, THERE HE IS."  I scream. 

Instinctively, my Dad and Adam take off after him.  The officers draw their guns and tell them to stop. 

"Help me. Please. Help me."  The man is yelling.   I realize now, he's not much older than me. 

"Get down on the ground.  Lay face down on the ground."  He starts to cry.

Because he is in the nude, we aren't allowed anywhere near him.  Understandably so.   I find an old blanket in our house and give it to the police so they can cover him up.  They call for an ambulance and within twenty minutes he is gone.   The police take our information, we agree to press charges. They tell us they will be in contact.  It's 7:30 a.m. 

Adam and I are blown away by what has just happened to us. 

The day goes by and I am just traumatized.  I am trying to convince myself that I will be OK to sleep at our house and I just can't do it.  My parent's offer to let us stay a few nights with them and we take them up on it.  We lock up the house and drive the seven blocks to stay with them.  I am wondering how I will ever feel comfortable in our house again.  We feel completely violated.  All Adam can do is reassure me he would never let anything happen to me and that I can always feel safe with him. 

My dad gets on the computer and pulls up our county arrest records for the day.  We narrow the possible intruder down to a young guy that had been arrested for breaking and entering that day.  His address is published on his arrest record.  He asks if I would like to take a ride by his house and offers to go to the door and speak with the man himself.  Hoping if I see his home and he speaks to him, I will feel better about my safety.  We take the ride but make the decision we shouldn't go to the door.   Turns out, that was a great decision.  This guy wasn't our guy at all.

The next night at about 8pm Adam's cell phone rings and it is one of the officers from the previous day.   She explains to Adam that they admitted the intruder to the hospital and he was tested for every drug under the sun and everything came back negative.  She explained that the paramedics said he was saying over and over "they told me to follow the river".  It makes sense as to why he might have chose our house.  The creek runs right behind our house and straight up the right side.   She explains his father is with him and he has been admitted to the psych ward.  She asks him to discuss with me the possibility of dropping the charges because he is now believed to be mentally ill.  Then, she asks something we never expected.  The mother of the man would like to speak to me and would it be alright if the officer gave her my telephone number.  I agree.  We hang up and 30 minutes later the phone rings again.

Here's the story:

The man is 26 years old.  He recently moved to Charlotte after graduating from college and accepted a job working with Wachovia Bank.  He was waiting for a new condo he had purchased to be finished uptown.  A week to the day prior to when he broke in to our home he called his parents.  He spoke with his father and told him something was just not right with him. He couldn't explain what was wrong but just that he thought he might need some help.  His dad said he would get on a plane and come to Charlotte immediately to get him and make sure he made it safely back to Ohio where his family is originally from.  He asked his father to wait a week so that he could apply for a sick leave from the bank and try to find someone to lease his new condo uptown.  He was successful in doing both and decided to stay with a friend for a few nights on a street that runs perpendicular with ours.  His father was already on a plane to pick him up when his family received the call that he had been arrested for breaking in to our house and had been admitted to the psych ward at our local hospital.

His mother apologized over and over for what had happened and even offered to pay to have new screens made for our windows.  She told me that when she heard that I was pregnant she wanted to call and assure me that her son meant no harm to Adam and I.   That out of all of her children he was the most calm and loving.  From what she and her husband had gathered from his doctors he was most likely a schizophrenic and what had happened the night prior was probably his first full blown schizophrenic episode.  They said this is why he sorted the trash and his attempt to get inside was probably for safety.  She asked me to thank Adam for not hurting him.

She and I spoke for about an hour.  My parents and Adam hovered over me the entire conversation.  She gave me a little bit more history on her son and she expressed that she honestly hoped that I did not fear for my safety in our home because of how random of an incident this was.  She gave me her telephone number and tearfully told me to call her if I needed anything else.  I thanked her for taking the time to call me when she had just received such sad news about her son and we hung up.

I felt a little bit better. 

Even though I know the back ground of the situation I still get chills thinking about it.  I had to write this in two parts because when I was writing in out in detail it brought it back to the surface.  I still hate walking through the office, now the playroom, at night.  I leave lights on when we go to bed and when I tell people the story, even though I chuckle about the craziness of that night, there was nothing funny about it.  It scared me to death. 

And that is the story of the Naked Break In.   Sorry for the suspense!!!


Katie A. said...

That is so crazy April! I'm glad you got to hear some of the background to his story to help you feel a little bit safer in your own home.

Kate G. said...

Oh...my...goodness. Girl, I could not stop reading that! I was mesmerized... I'm glad to hear there was sort of a happy ending.