A New England teenager is being hailed for her bravery after she scared off an accused home intruder and then helped authorities nab him, WBZ-TV reports.
Around 7:20 a.m. Friday, 14-year-old Avery Cormier awoke to the sound of a stranger in her home.
“I heard the boots walk through the house and I thought that my mom might have just forgotten her phone and came back until I realized that’s not my mom,” Cormier said.
The teen grabbed a pair of steak knives in the kitchen and then began yelling at the intruder.
“I was screaming at the top of my lungs to ‘get out of my house, get out.’ That’s really it,” Cormier told the television station, adding, “It was just kind of adrenaline.”
Cormier then recorded a video of the man fleeing and called 911, which authorities say helped catch him.
“I got him out of the house. I scared him,” Cormier told a 911 dispatcher, according to an audio recording of the call released by the police department. “I took a video of his truck leaving so I have his license plate number.”
Officers later arrested the alleged intruder, identified as 58-year-old Joseph Ridge, who is no stranger to law enforcement.
Ridge was out on bail on an unrelated matter at the time of the break-in and had been arraigned more than 130 times before Friday’s arrest, according to WBZ-TV. Investigators do not believe he has any particular ties to the family whose home he targeted.
Prosecutors have charged Ridge with aggravated breaking and entering during the daytime, trespassing and disorderly conduct in connection with the incident. A judge set his bail at $200,000, and if he posts it, he would be subject to house arrest and would have to wear a GPS monitor.
“The suspect in this case is a career criminal who was arrested after terrorizing a 14-year-old girl in her own home,” Middleborough Police Chief Joseph Perkins said at a press conference, according to WCVB-TV. “Hopefully his arrest this time will bring this known felon to account for his crimes.”
Perkins also praised Cormier for her bravery.
“She had the wherewithal in the moment of extreme stress and scary event to be able to think on her feet,” Perkins told WCVB-TV.
Cormier’s mother, Dianne Tautkus, said she’s proud of her daughter, who is a straight-A student.
“I really didn’t realize that she had it in her to stay so calm under fire,” Tautkus told the television station. “I’m blessed to have a daughter like her.”
Thinking back about the encounter, Cormier said that while she is glad no one was injured, she thinks it might be more prudent to call 911 first.
“Call the police before you do anything,” Cormier advised in speaking with WCVB-TV. “Don’t just grab knives and go chase after him. Might not work out.”
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[Feature Photo: Pixabay]