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'I'm not going to be afraid' – Dowagiac woman describes home invasion

Imagine being in your home when someone with a gun tries to get inside. That's what one woman told WSBT happened to her in Dowagiac overnight.

No shots were fired, but the woman is thankful she's still alive.

This woman knew who was trying to get into her house. She says they were friends. He showed up with two women. All three got into the home after breaking down a door to find Brittainy Rangel hiding.

It was a little before 1 a.m. Thursday when Rangel was in her bedroom. That's when she says the 22-year-old man and two women showed up unannounced.

“He was trying to come in the house and I didn't want him inside, so I told him no and he knocked on my bedroom window and I lifted up my blinds and he had a gun and he was tapping with it,” she said.

It was at that moment when Rangel feared for her life.

“The girl behind him had a bullet and he loaded it and he said can you let me in and I said no and he said I am coming in anyway, and he walked over to the front door and he kicked it in and they all came in. Him and these two girls,” she said.

One girl hit Rangel, she says, which prompted her to chase them out the door.

She quickly locked it and called 911.

“I really thought him or one of those girls might shoot me. I didn't know because they were acting so crazy and I was just scared, just trying to get on the phone, just trying to hide.”

While police were on their way to the house, the suspects took off in a silver vehicle.

Police found the car and followed it to Mcomber Street. When the car stopped, police say the man took off running.

“They located him in a backyard of a residence,” said Steve Grinnewald, director of Public Safety. “When they started closing in on him, he climbed on top of a shed which then led him to climb on top of a roof of a two story house.”

After about an hour, police say the man was talked down from the roof and arrested.

Rangel's house suffered a lot of damage.

“I'm not just going to let it stay that way. I'm not going to leave. I'm not going to be afraid. I'm not going to stay with my mom. This is my house and nobody is going to scare me out of it.”

Police are not identifying the 22-year-old man they arrested. But we are told he is at Cass County Jail on multiple charges, including home invasion.

One of the women was also arrested. The other was not charged.

The following release was issued Thursday afternoon by the Dowagiac Department of Public Safety:

Dowagiac Officers were dispatched to the 400 block of N Front St on Thursday, 7/12/18 at approximately 1:00 A.M. on a report of an assault that had occurred at a residence with one of the suspects having a handgun and threatening the caller with it. While officers were responding the caller advised that the suspects were leaving in a silver vehicle. Officers observed the suspect vehicle near the intersection of N Front and Division St and followed the vehicle as it turned on Orchard St. Officers initiated a traffic stop on that vehicle on Orchard St. near Spruce St. Officers observed a male passenger flee from the backseat of the car on foot and officers followed after him, on foot as well. Two female subjects, one the driver and one a passenger remained in the vehicle after the male suspect ran. The suspect fled to a backyard in the 200 block of McOmber St. with officers pursuing him. Officers located the suspect who quickly climbed on top of a shed and then onto the second story roof of the residence. The suspect remained on the roof for approximately one hour as Officers began speaking with him attempting to get him off of the roof. The male suspect was eventually talked down from the roof and placed under arrest. Officers located a handgun in the vehicle and the driver was found to not have a driver’s license. Upon speaking with the caller from the original assault complaint, they advised that the suspects entered the residence by forcing their way in through the front door. A physical altercation occurred between the resident and the suspects prior to the suspects leaving with threats being made with the handgun.

Officers arrested a 22 year old male from Mishawaka, IN, who was lodged at the Cass County Jail on charges of Home Invasion, Felony Firearm, Felonious Assault, and Resisting & Obstructing. The driver of the vehicle, a 17 year old female, was arrested on charges of Home Invasion, Carry Concealed Weapon, Felony Firearm and Driving With no License. The suspect’s names are being withheld pending their arraignment in District Court.

Dowagiac police officers were assisted at the scene by the Cass County Sheriff’s Office and CCSO K9 Faust, Pokagon Tribal Police, Dowagiac Fire Department and PRIDE EMS.

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