Guts, gun, and good sense saved a family from being robbed and a family member kidnapped. It also probably saved four teens from spending a much longer time in prison.
A 51-year-old man from Baker, Florida, got a call from his 17-year-old daughter in the evening on Tuesday, Nov. 7, he told police. She was returning home and said somebody had blocked the road to their house with barrels.
What could have been a harmless prank was actually a plot to kidnap the girl and rob the father’s house, according to the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office.
Four young men armed with guns, a knife, and latex gloves, dark clothes, face masks, and a roll of tape, intended to block the road and thus force the girl to exit the car. They could then kidnap her. They further planned to head to the house, subdue the father, and rob the house as they believed the man to be wealthy, the sheriff’s office stated, referring to its investigation.
But that’s not what happened.
The girl decided to drive around the barrels and so got safely to the house.
The alleged criminals didn’t give up though.
A short while later the father heard his dog barking and saw that the motion-activated front floodlights had come on. He also heard something like a car door closing.
He went to get his gun.
He then proceeded to check out what was going on, spotting several individuals trying to force their way into his garage.
He fired three shots, sending the intruders fleeing into the woods. He later found some of his security lights unscrewed.
The police were alerted to the intruders around 10:30 p.m. by a neighbor who saw a suspicious car near her house. She described the car to the deputies who then spotted the 2016 white Jeep Liberty on Highway 4, stopped it, and arrested four young men: 19-year old Keilon Johnson, 17-year old Austin French, 16-year old Tyree Johnson, and 15-year old Kamauri Horn, all of Crestview, a town some 6 miles southeast of Baker.
All four have been charged with attempted kidnapping and attempted home invasion robbery. Johnson was booked into the Okaloosa County Jail. The others were transferred to a Department of Juvenile Justice facility.
The sheriff’s department shared the details of the case on Facebook, where it has been shared more than 2,000 times. Many commenters congratulated the family and the police on a job well done. Some also noted the situation could have turned out much worse if the father and daughter didn’t manage to thwart the intruders’ plan. The family could get hurt. But also, ironically, it helped the intruders, who could have otherwise ended up with much more serious charges.
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