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TUESDAY, JANUARY 9, 2007
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Teen escapes home invasion, calls for help

By Seth Burkett
sburkett@decaturdaily.com 340-2355

The hunt continued for two men sought in a home invasion that was interrupted by police after a teenage victim escaped and called for help, Decatur police said Monday.

Garbed in dark sweatshirts and ski masks, the men used a sledgehammer to break open a front door in the 1200 block of 14th Avenue Southeast at about 4 a.m. Sunday, said Lt. Chris Mathews, a police spokesman.

They went to the bedroom where Carol McDaniel and her husband, James Earl Orr, slept, and demanded money, Mathews said. One of the robbers was armed with a pistol.

"They threw Mr. Orr to the floor and they hit him three or four times with a baton. They then tied Orr and Mrs. McDaniel with plastic zip ties," Mathews said.

McDaniel, 33, said her first thoughts were of her children. The three boys, ages 16, 15 and 2, were also in the house.

But when the robbers tried to tie up her oldest son, he put up a struggle, she said.

"He kind of fought them off," McDaniel said.

The teen got out of the house to call for help.

Mathews said police arrived to find the robbers toting storage containers.

"When the officers got there, they saw the two suspects at the front of the house, and they ran toward the back of the house. Officers chased them behind the house and lost them in an alleyway between 15th and 16th avenues," Mathews said.

The men dropped the containers, along with the pistol and other items as they fled.

Besides the contents of the containers, which were recovered, nothing was reported stolen, police said.

Fortunately, McDaniel said, the harrowing experience didn't result in any serious injuries. Orr, the only person hurt, did not go to the hospital.

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