14-year-old girl scares intruder out of her home, helps police apprehend him
A 14-year-old Massachusetts girl scared off a man who allegedly broke into her home Friday morning — and her quick thinking later helped police apprehend the suspect, according to the Middleborough Police Department. Her mother told CBS Boston the girl armed herself with two steak knives before yelling for the intruder to leave.
Police said the girl, identified as Avery Cormier by CBS Boston, woke up at approximately 7:20 a.m. to the sound of someone in her home. She then “bravely confronted” the man, later identified as 58-year-old Joseph Ridge, causing him to flee — and as he was getting away, she took a video of the car he drove that included his license plate number.
“I got him out of the house. I scared him,” the girl told a 911 dispatcher in audio released by police. “I took a video of his truck leaving so I have his license plate number.”
Though the police statement did not mention the girl having any weapons, her mother told CBS Boston that she scared Ridge away while wielding two steak knives.
“I really didn’t realize that she had it in her to stay so calm under fire,” said Dianne Tautkus. “Grabbed two kitchen steak knives and she went back and stood outside the door and started screaming at him ‘Get out of my house. Get out of my house. You don’t belong here.'”
Ridge was apprehended soon after, and charged with aggravated breaking and entering during the daytime, trespassing and disorderly conduct, police said. The department said Ridge was “well-known” to police and had been out on bail for an “unrelated incident.”
According to CBS Boston, police said Ridge had been arraigned more than 130 times prior to Friday’s arrest.
“I would like to commend the courageous actions of this girl. Even in the midst of an extremely scary event, her bravery assisted us in identifying the man believed to be responsible for breaking into her home,” said Middleborough Police Chief Joseph Perkins. Perkins said she was an honor roll student who was home for the day because it was Good Friday, according to CBS Boston.
At a Friday arraignment, a judge set Ridge’s bail at $200,000, CBS Boston reported. If Ridge does post bail, he would be required to be on house arrest with 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,” Perkins added. “Hopefully his arrest this time will bring this known felon to account for his crimes.”