SANTA CRUZ (KCBS) — A Santa Cruz family who were the victims of a home invasion robbery Wednesday morning turned the tables on their attackers, capturing one and holding him until police arrived, according to authorities.
Wednesday’s incident occurred around 4:30 a.m. on the 500 block of Poplar Ave. Yarry Gonzalez said he woke to find the two intruders in his and wife’s bedroom, standing over them and smelling of alcohol.
“I think they were surprised to find us in here,” said Gonzalez, who was home with his wife and two daughters.“They kind of talked amongst themselves for a second and then demanded money.”
The masked men, who Gonzalez described as ‘completely incompetent,’ then began to tie up the couple. That was the moment it was then when they decided to fight back, according to Gonzalez.
Gonzalez freed his hands and fought the larger man, while his wife battled with the smaller of the two, who the couple dubbed, ‘Weasel.’
“She picks up one of our heating bags here, and she chucks it at the back of Weasel’s head, the smaller guy who’s wielding at this point … a decorative sword from my wall and a screwdriver.” said Gonzalez.
Gonzalez said as he fought the intruders he screamed as loud as he could to get the attention of neighbors. It apparently was enough to scare off the smaller man.
“I think Weasel panicked,” said Gonzalez. “He realized that the jig was up. And he uh, he bolted. He ran right out the front door.”
Gonzalez said he continued to fight the larger of the two intruders and the struggle continued out onto the front lawn of the house, where Gonzalez was able to get the man into a headlock.
“They were able to capture one of the two suspects and get to a phone to call 911. At that point our officers arrived the one individual was being detained by the occupants of the home. The other individual fled,” said Deputy Santa Cruz Police Chief Steve Clark.
Gonzalez and his wife were uninjured except for a few scratches on his face.
Police said the man arrested, identified as 28-year-old Cuauctemoc Xilonzochilt-Zamora. He was being held on suspicion of robbery and other charges. Police said he was also arrested last year for a burglary.
The incident was the latest in a series of crimes in Santa Cruz, including a homicide, an attempted homicide, as well as the rape of a woman on the UC Santa Cruz campus.
Police are offering rewards for information on the recent crimes.
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