Here is everybody’s worst nightmare. 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?
Read this news account of exactly what happened to Roger and Donna Angevine. Then I will discuss the most important ability you must possess when faced with violent attack.
Here is the news story:
Monroe couple describe how they fought off armed man
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.
OK, let’s discuss the reality of this situation that the news reporter clearly missed. This was not a burglary. No burglar wants to confront two people in their bedroom. Burglars look for empty, easy homes to burglarize. Burglars do not carry duct tape, nylon rope, and zip ties for any reason other than to subdue victims for further violent assault. This home invader had much more nefarious plans for Donna and Roger than simply trying to steal some items to make a quick buck.
Without getting into the obvious lack of any kind of perimeter defense that allowed an armed criminal to stroll into the victims’ bedroom and awake them, the most common mistake victims of violent crime commit is failing to immediately recognize the severity of their situation and attack their adversary with ferocious, overwhelming violence.
Note that Roger, after being awaken and ordered to stand naked with his wife, thought maybe the intruder was a friend pulling a prank. Huh?
We want to believe the world is good, and that bad things could never happen to us, but the reality is that bad things happen to good people all the time, and unless trained to do so, we are not mentally prepared to look into the face of death and turn the tables on the Grim Reaper.
The lack of immediately recognizing the severity of a situation and attacking with ferocious and overwhelming violence against an adversary is simply due to the fact that most people cannot think like a violent criminal. law-abiding citizens are good people who live decent lives and could never consider assaulting, raping, torturing, or killing another human being for pleasure. Unfortunately, there is a segment of the population that can consider it without regret and which, if given the opportunity, will do it!
As a result, good people are at a distinct disadvantage when they come in contact with bad people.
Note Donna’s comment that she continued swinging the bat at the intruder’s head pleading with him to stop fighting.
Not wanting to unnecessarily hurt an intruder who is locked in a life and death fight with her husband, Donna pleads with the home invader to stop fighting as she reluctantly hits him in the head with a baseball bat. The fact that she hit the intruder 20 times, asking him to stop fighting between blows and he is still alive to talk to the police indicates she was not swinging the bat as enthusiastically as she could have or should have!
So what is the most important ability you must possess when faced with a violent attack? You must possess the willingness to show absolutely no regard for your opponent’s well being and immediately overwhelm him with incapacitating trauma.
If armed with a major caliber handgun, this means delivering two quick hits to the thoracic cavity and if that doesn’t stop your opponent’s attack, immediately transition to deliver a single round to the cranio-ocular cavity (a bullet between the mustache and eyebrows).
You must be decisive, fast, and ferocious.
Armed criminals expect you to comply with them.
They do not expect resistance which gives you a big advantage if you are willing to fight.
Action always beats reaction.
Once you act, fight with the reckless abandon of a madman until your opponent is vanquished.
Do not cut your opponent any slack because if you do, he will turn it on you.
Overwhelm your adversary with incapacitating trauma and don’t stop until he has lost the will and ability to continue to fight.
You are not fighting to kill. You are fighting to stop your opponent from killing you. Still, you must possess the will to kill if it means saving your own life or the lives of your loved ones.
In Roger and Donna’s case they did not have a gun, thus Roger made the appropriate decision to fight to the best of his ability rather than comply with the wishes of a home invader. Many
authorities will advise you to comply with your captor’s demands. I could not disagree more. You never want to place yourself into a position where you must rely on the mercy or
goodness of someone who is committing a violent crime against you.
Had Roger allowed himself to be bound and gagged, imagine the hours of agonizing pain and humiliation he and his wife would have suffered through — if allowed to live through it.
Roger and Donna made the right decision to fight and I applaud them. They simply lacked the proper tools, training, and mindset to end the fight quickly and thus sustained more injury to themselves than necessary.
If you feel that you may lack the proper mindset to immediately recognize the severity of your situation and attack an opponent with overwhelming violence, then you are not alone. Ninety-nine out of a hundred people do not naturally have this ability, but it can be learned. Start by reading my Gun Training Reports #8, 9, and 10 which cover The Color Code of Mental Awareness and Combat Mindset. (You can see the old reports by using the link at the bottom of the emails we send you.)
If you know Roger and Donna Angevine tell them that they can come out and have their choice, free of charge, of a Front Sight Empty Hand Defense Course, Edged Weapons Course, or Defensive Handgun Course here at Front Sight.
I hope the Angevines choose the handgun course because, as they have unfortunately already found out, defending yourself with your bare hands, a knife or a baseball bat can get rather messy!
Dr. Ignatius Piazza
Front Sight Founder and Director
Four-Weapons Combat Master
Your host of Front Sight Challenge Reality TV Series
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