You awake to a strange man in your bedroom who is armed with a gun and baseball bat. He has also brought with him a knife, white nylon rope, black duct tape, and nylon zip ties. He orders you and your wife out of bed. As you stand with your wife, unarmed and naked, the stranger orders you to lay on the floor…
What should you do?
“An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.” - Robert A. Heinlein
Monroe Couple Describe How They Fought Off Armed Man
Published July 30, 2008By Jackson Holtz, Herald Writer
MONROE -- A few hours before Donna Angevine smacked an intruder in the head more than 20 times with a baseball bat early Thursday, she was sparring with her tae kwan do instructor.
He had to egg her on.
"Hit me," the instructor told her. Be aggressive.
The self-defense and martial arts training paid off for the Monroe woman, 45, when she and her husband, Roger Angevine, woke up to find a man in their bedroom.
"I'm here to rob you," they remember him saying.
Nearly a week later, the couple has stitches and deep purple bruises. Donna Angevine has a black eye. Her husband, 48, has a foot-long bruise on his side and a bite mark on his thigh.
The carpet in their bedroom, where the attack occurred, was removed. Police said the blood from the fight rendered it a biohazard and it needed to be destroyed.
The intruder is behind bars.
Taking a break from mowing their lawn Tuesday, the couple -- he's a retired business owner and she's a doggie fashion designer -- recounted their ordeal.
Roger Angevine said at first he thought maybe the intruder was a friend pulling a prank. He asked the man if he was serious.
"Does this feel serious?" the stranger said.
Angevine felt the sharp slap of a baseball bat against his torso.
The blow triggered a 15-minute struggle.
The man ordered the couple, who were naked and unarmed, to the ground.
That's when Roger Angevine decided to fight back.
He tackled the intruder, hitting him with such force that he knocked the man's head through the drywall.
"My goal was to grab onto his wrists and hold on," Roger Angevine said.
An avid snowmobiler, Roger Angevine said he knows how to grip handlebars strong enough to save his life. Grasping the man's wrists was similar.
The couple was able to take away the intruder's gun and baseball bat.
"Hit him! Hit him! Hit him!" Roger Angevine yelled to his wife.
Again and again, Donna Angevine swung the bat at the man's head. She pleaded with him to stop fighting, but he continued.
"Please stop fighting," she said. "I don't want to hurt you anymore."
The fight went back and forth from the bedroom into an adjoining weight room. The two men wrestled while Donna Angevine kept swinging the bat.
At one point, the intruder bit Roger Angevine's thigh.
"That's actually what pissed me off," he said.
Finally, the intruder succumbed. The couple hog-tied him with belts and Donna Angevine sat on him until Snohomish County sheriff's deputies arrived.
"I came to make a quick buck," the man, 24, told police, according to court papers.
He said he walked from his Bothell home to the couple's residence at the end of a long private road in rural Monroe, the documents said.
"You have a lovely home," the man told the couple during the robbery attempt. "I thought you'd have lots of cash."
The intruder was hospitalized Thursday with a head wound. On Friday, he was booked into the Snohomish County Jail for investigation of first-degree burglary, first-degree robbery, second-degree assault and possession of a stolen firearm. He was being held Tuesday on $100,000 bail.
Police found in the man's backpack a knife, plastic zip ties, white nylon rope, black duct tape and a single roll of toilet paper, potentially for use in gagging his victims.
Roger Angevine said he finds it hard to believe someone would randomly stumble upon the house he and his wife built eight years ago. The intruder also seemed to know the layout of the house.
The man slipped in through an unlocked door, fetched a slab of bacon from the kitchen to lure the couple's three dogs away and found the bedroom amid the sprawling floor plan, Angevine said.
Snohomish County detectives continue to investigate the break-in. The Angevines acted in self-defense and will not face charges, officials said.
The couple said they're locking their doors and have beefed up their security plan.
They hope their ordeal will provide a cautionary tale to others.
"You can't rely on locked doors to stop a guy with a gun, baseball bat and a mission," Roger Angevine said. "You have to be able to defend yourself."
On Tuesday night, Donna Angevine said she continued her self-defense training at a session for women at Tiger Rock Tae Kwon Do in Monroe.
"The guy just picked the wrong people to mess with," she said.