CHICAGO (WGN) — Several residents of a Chicago neighborhood stepped in to stop a home invasion after hearing the screams of the mother who was forced out of her house in the middle of the night.
Amanda Johnson, who is eight months pregnant, was at home with her 6-year-old and 4-year-old on Wednesday night. Everyone was in bed. Her husband Colin was out of town.
Around 11 p.m., Johnson was startled out of her sleep after police say Zachary Bruns, 34, took a landscaping rock and smashed part of the front door.
“I kind of popped up and heard another loud noise. It sounded like a very loud balloon popping,” Johnson said.
Johnson rushed downstairs to fend him off.
“I sort of reacted to push him away from the door, to keep him from opening the lock, he was trying to reach the deadbolt,” said Johnson. “He unlocked the deadbolt. He pushed the door toward me — and me out of the way. I have lots of bruises and bumps now, feeling those.”
Johnson was forced outside without her cell phone, so she resorted to using her voice.
“[I was] pacing because my children are upstairs sleeping, so I started screaming next-level, kind of like a siren,” she said.
Neighbors heard the commotion and many came to help.
“It was sort of like ‘Avengers assemble,'” Johnson said, making a reference to the Marvel superheroes and their call to action. “All of a sudden, I looked up and it was people coming from all areas.”
A number of neighbors, including an off-duty police officer, detained Bruns until police arrived and arrested the suspect a short while later.
Bruns was denied bail on Friday. He was charged with home invasion and criminal damage to a property. Bruns’ attorney said he suffers from paranoid schizophrenia.
He has five prior felony convictions for residential burglaries.
No one was injured during the incident, but the Johnsons’ door was damaged as a result of the break-in. A retired firefighter from across the street helped secure the front door with plywood and bolts until a new one arrives.