From the Standard Speaker of February 28, 2008
W. Hazleton woman scares off intruder
A burglar fled a West Hazleton home when a resident got a pistol and took a shot at the man Tuesday evening, borough police said.
The incident happened at an East Broad Street home just before 7 p.m., according to the victim, Terri Gavinski. She and her husband, Dave Gavinski, who was at work when the home invasion occurred, talked about her frightening experience Tuesday night.
Terri Gavinski she was relaxing watching TV, when she heard a noise and saw the figure of a man standing at the edge of the hallway leading into her living room.
She said to the man, “Please don’t hurt me.” He responsed by referring to her in a derogatory manner.
She said the man’s head was completely covered with a forest green bandana and it partially covered his face. He also wore dark gloves, possibly black and dark pants, she said.
Terri Gavinski estimated he was roughly 6 feet tall and a bit more muscular. The intruder apparently gained entrance through the side door of their home in the 200 block of East Broad Street.
Terri Gavinski said he demanded cash and valuables.
She again asked him not to hurt her and said her husband had coins and guns that he used for hunting in a case upstairs. He ordered her upstairs and continued to tell her not to withhold any money she might have.
He ordered her to put the coins in bags. While she was doing that, he began to ransack the upstairs.
“He was just throwing our stuff around and opening up drawers. He didn’t seem interested in his rifles in the gun case,” Gavinski said.
The victim said that while the intruder went through their stuff, she went into another bedroom where she spotted a loaded gun her husband had on the gun cabinet.
“At this point I’m a bit foggy about what happened, but he didn’t see me pick up the gun and we walked downstairs with these heavy bags of coins. He had one bag and I had the other and he ordered me to bring it into the kitchen,” she said.
As he was about to go out the side entrance where he came in, she said she took the gun out of her housecoat, raised it and fired a round. The intruder, she said, dropped the bag of coins and ran out.
She knew she didn’t hit him, but she scared him enough to flee to a car parked in the rear of their home, she said.
Her husband said the bullet exited the home through the rear kitchen window into the back garage.
“I called 911 and within a minute the West Hazleton police arrived,” she said.
Later, Hazleton police and state police were at her home helping out. After calling police she called her husband at work and he was home within minutes.
It is a night Terri Gavinski won’t soon forget.
“I am not a gun person. My husband is. He is a hunter and always keeps two loaded guns in the house,” she said.