OCALA, FLORIDA — The residents of an Ocala, Florida home were shocked late last month when they were woken up by sounds in their living room.
It was Erick Russell Miller, and he was decidedly unwell. If one armed homeowner didn’t confront the man gun in hand, there’s no telling what may have happened.
As the Miami Herald reports:
According to a Facebook post from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, the homeowner grabbed her gun and approached the suspect, later identified as Erick Russell Miller, and told him not to move. The man then fled through the front door.
The victim told officers that kitchen knives were scattered throughout the home, and a stack of change was left on the front patio. While deputies were interviewing the victims, neighbors came into contact with a “suspicious person” nearby. Deputies flagged down Miller, who had two knives from the house in his possession. He admitted that he broke into the home because “he thought people were chasing him,” the report said. When asked why there were coins on the patio, the 31-year-old Florida man said he removed the change from his pockets because of the noise it made.
Miller told officers that once he was inside, he “drank a bottle of water, gathered weapons to protect himself with and removed all the night lights from the power outlets in order to hide from ‘the people who were chasing him.'”
Miller was either severely intoxicated on some substance or other or he was extremely disturbed — either way, that’s some pretty creepy stuff.
Miller got off easy here — had the homeowner slept in, Miller may have attacked residents out of misguided terror or sobered up and taken equally rash action. Had the homeowner opened fire, Miller would miss out on the chance to get the help he so clearly needs.
A huge tip of the hat is in order for the homeowner with the wisdom to know when to pull the trigger, and when to simply take charge.
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