Arizona 13-Year-Old Fends Off Home Intruder by Punching Him in the Face

December 9, 2018 Updated: December 9, 2018
FONT BFONT SText size

An Arizona boy punched a home intruder in the face after the meth-affected man climbed into his apartment because he thought it was “haunted and abandoned,” police said.

Andre Marc Sutherland, 27, was arrested after breaking into the Phoenix apartment on Dec. 2 through an unlocked sliding glass door, AZFamily.com reported. The teen told officers he was making pizza in the kitchen around 7 p.m. and when he went back to his room and found Sutherland in his bed, fondling himself.

The teenager then punched Sutherland in the face and the two got into a scuffle.

The boy then locked himself in the bathroom and called his father and 911.

“As soon as he said it, I kind of didn’t believe it,” the boy’s father told AZFamily.com. “He said, ‘Oh, there was a break in and he tried to choke me’ was all he said. ‘I’m locking myself in the bathroom.'”

The suspect left the premises and was located shortly after by police.

Sutherland reportedly told the police he was surprised the boy punched him in the face because thought the two were “having a telepathic conversation.”

The suspect told police he had been using meth for the past month, and entered the apartment because he was looking for a place to sleep.

Police said Sutherland told them he thought the place was haunted and was fondling himself as a way to “draw the spirits in.”

Sutherland was arrested on charges of burglary, public sexual indecency, and aggravated assault.

“I don’t think anybody could have done any better than what he’s done,” the boy’s father said. “He reacted perfectly in a situation where you couldn’t really tell what way it was going to go.”

“He certainly exceeded my expectations. I’m very proud of him,” he added.

Face-to-Face With Burglars

The story recalls a harrowing episode several backs when a 12-year-old Arizona boy called 911 on two burglars who had kicked their way into his house, enabling police to respond and make an arrest, but not before he came face-to-face with the two intruders.

The 12-year-old boy, who has not been identified by name, heard someone kicking down the door to his Scottsdale home and hid in the closet, according to AZCentral.com.

An audio recording of the 911 call made in August 2015, published by ABC, reveals the boy asked the operator to summon the police as the intruders entered the house.

“They’re trying to break down the door right now … I can hear them,” the boy said on the call.

“I think they might be inside,” he said, also whispering that he was in a bedroom closet.

booking photos of two burglary suspects
Police booking photos of Robbie Jay Johnson (L) and Cole Austin Lewallen, who were arrested and charged with multiple felonies after a 12-year-old Arizona boy called 911 on the two as they broke into his home in Scottsdale, Ariz., in 2015. (Scottsdale Police Department)

The boy, who was home alone at the time, listened to the suspects rummage around his house for 15 minutes while the 911 operator stayed on the phone with him.

“Does it still sound like they’re in the bedroom with you,” the 911 operator asks, according to the ABC report.

“No, I think they’re in the kitchen right now,” the boy responds.

The situation became even more terrifying when the boy came face-to-face with the burglars.

“Please don’t hurt me,” the boy says.

The two suspects ran away when they saw the boy.

“Yes, they’re running. They’re running … they saw me. … What do I do? What do I do?” the boy says the operator.

By that time the police had surrounded the house and arrested the suspects.

The boy was uninjured.

Follow Tom on Twitter: @OZImekTOM