Sunday, July 19, 2009

Kentucky: Homeowner subdues intruder until police arrive

Louisville, Kentucky

From WAVE of July 16, 2009
Homeowner subdues intruder until police arrive

Police in Oldham County are investigating another apparent home invasion attempt. This time the homeowner subdued the alleged intruder until police could arrive.

According to a press release from the Oldham County Police Department, officers were sent to the 1000 block of Goshen Lane about 1:30 a.m. Friday on a report of a home invasion burglary.

When police arrived on scene, they found the home owner, Wes Johnson, and a houseguest, Richard Rackleffe, restraining 34-year-old Sherman Ellis from Louisville.

Johnson told us it was about 1 a.m. Friday when Wes Johnson, his wife and their two out-of-town guests went to bed. About a half-hour later, Johnson says they heard something strange: the garage door opening and closing.

"We got out there and the garage was closed and we couldn't really figure out what was going on," Johnson said.

They didn't know it then, but Ellis had cut open the top of the Johnson's convertible and used the garage door opener to get inside their home. "When I walked back inside, I asked my wife to go up and call 911 and notify them that something was wrong," Johnson said.

That's when he noticed something in the basement. "I saw a closet door in our basement close. When I approached the door and kicked it open the guy came out and started to assault me," Johnson said.

Johnson says he and Ellis continued to struggle. "When somebody's coming at you in the darkness in the night and somebody comes at you with something in their hand to hit you, it helps you realize real quick that something's not right."

Johnson says he yelled for his wife to bring him a pistol he had in the house. In the meantime, Johnson's guests - both former FBI agents - came running downstairs.

"The guy was fighting all he could," said Johnson's guest, Richard Rackleffe. I used to work with defense tactics and all I did was take the arm and put it in a twist, where he quit fighting and he just succumbed or submitted at that point."

They held Ellis at gunpoint until police arrived and even then Johnson said Ellis fought officers, slightly injuring one before being handcuffed.

Even though Johnson managed to get the upper hand, the experience has left him shaken. "It definitely takes all the peace and comfort you have of going home and closing the door and knowing that you are in a safe place."

Police say Ellis lives in Portland, and told Johnson he was in Oldham County for a party. When he got left behind he said he planned to steal a car to get home.

But Johnson says that doesn't explain why Ellis decided to enter his home.

Ellis has a long criminal past, including multiple rape charges. And he's listed on the Kentucky Sex Offender Registry for raping a 15-year-old girl.

Ellis is charged with burglary, robbery, assault, resisting arrest, assaulting a police officer and possession of burglary tools. He is being held in the Oldham County Jail on a $10,000 full security bond.

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