CHESHIRE, Conn., (CBS/AP) The two men accused of a brutal Connecticut home invasion may not have had violent crimes in their long lists of prior convictions, but sources tell local newspapers the pair’s record changed when they invaded the home of a prominent doctor early Monday morning.
Joshua Komisarjevsky, 26, of Cheshire, and Steven Hayes, 44, of Winsted, were arraigned Tuesday on charges of assault, sexual assault, kidnapping, burglary, robbery, arson, larceny and risk of injury to children. More charges are pending, state police said Tuesday night. The two men could face the death penalty.
The state medical examiner confirmed that Jennifer Hawke-Petit, 48, was strangled and that her daughters, 17-year-old Hayley and 11-year-old Michaela, died of smoke inhalation. The deaths were ruled homicides.
The girls’ father, Dr. William Petit Jr., a prominent endocrinologist, remained hospitalized with head injuries.
All three women were raped, sources familiar with the investigation told both the Waterbury Republican-American and Hartford Courant. Petit was beaten with a baseball bat, thrown down the basement stairs, and then tied up in the cellar.
The girls, sources told the Courant, were tied to their beds and raped repeatedly, then left to burn after gasoline was poured around their beds and ignited.
The suspects entered the Petits’ Cheshire home at about 3 a.m. Monday, planning to burglarize it, state police said.
Sources familiar with the investigation tell the Republican-American that Hawke-Petit and Michaela were followed home from a supermarket Sunday by the suspects. The men then went to a Wal-Mart to buy an air rifle and a rope, and then waited about a mile-and-a-half away [before forcibly entering the home and brutalizing the family for 6 hours].
“I’m thinking of the father. I can’t imagine what he has to come back to,” neighbor Linda Layman told CBS News . “Nobody should have to go through that. It’s very devastating. It’s just horrible.”
Have you ever seen this in the movies:
“Honey, I heard a noise! Go check it out while I wait safely snuggled in the comfy coziness of our quilted down comforter!”
If you’re like most people, you creep out of the bedroom quietly – tip-toeing through your floor plan like a secret agent… your hand-cannon ready to spurt fire and brimstone at the dumb sucker who made the noise.
As much as we talk about the value of saferooms in your home to protect against a home invasion, the reality is that most people that hear a bump in the night ignore this advice and go into “stealth mode” to check out the noise.
However, this is NOT the best action to take when you suspect an intruder has entered your home.
Get to a saferoom and call the police!
BUT, if you have a kid who likes to sneak around after curfew and you’re more concerned about a frightened responding officer with an itchy trigger finger, then here’s a better way to make sure the coast is clear…
If outside your bedroom is clear, stay close to the walls and find the closest place of cover near your main living space and hunch down low.Yell out, “Who’s there? I’m armed and the police are on their way!”
(yes, even if they’re not yet)If it’s your teenage son raiding the refrigerator or drunken brother-in-law who got kicked out of his home, this is their time to yell out “Don’t shoot, it’s me!”If it’s an intruder who entered the home thinking it was vacant, he’ll most likely scram.
If no one is scramming and there’s no response, it could be a clear sign you may have a home invader and it’s time time enact your rehearsed home defense plan.
The point here is that it’s hardly ever a good bet to launch a surprise attack on a suspected intruder.
Too many family members have been accidentally shot from nervous, trigger-happy parents and besides, your house makes noises when you walk through it and you’re going to be heard anyway.
Instead, use noise to your advantage and give an early warning to avoid an accident and perhaps save yourself from having to fire a single defensive shot.
Yours in survival,