COCKEYSVILLE, Md. — Long before people living along Charington Road in Cockeysville received handouts alerting them of a pair of break-ins, Rodolfo Aguilera had heard about his next-door neighbor's exploits firsthand.
"He had them break into his window,” said Aguilera. “He told me he punched him in his face."
The three teenage boys had awakened the homeowner trying to climb inside the house through an open window in his bedroom.
"The good thing you know is he was awake,” said Aguilera. “He heard a noise, and then he stepped up, and that's when he punched him, but it's scary. If he hadn't been awake, he could be dead today, you know?"
Police describe the attempted home invasion as an act of desperation after an earlier crime at about three o'clock in the morning.
"There was an attempted burglary, and in the process of the police department setting up the perimeter and deploying our K-9 units, there were three suspects who attempted to elude detection by breaking into another home,” said Officer Jennifer Peach of the Baltimore County Police Department. “We believe their intent was to try to hide in the home and hide from police until we cleared the area."
Police say they discourage people from confronting criminals, even in their own homes, because it's safer to take flight, but this time, it was the fleeing burglars who paid the price for the intrusion, escaping with little more than a beating at the hands of a would-be victim and his neighbors' peace of mind.
"They make me nervous, because sometimes I leave my windows open, but after that happening I won't leave my windows open anymore," said Aguilera.
As for the minor injuries the homeowner received, police say they were just small cuts on his knuckles from punching the intruders repeatedly.