All the details are not included here, but this one must have been real bad. And as rare as something like this may be, to my mind anyway, it underscores why responsible people must keep home defense weapons available and should try to teach everyone in the household how to use them. We can't know (from this piece, anyway) whether guns in the home might have thwarted these guys, but I'd be willing to guess they might have made all the difference.
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The Lone Haranguer
July 24, 2007, 12:28 PM
:confused: The link is for an op-ed page.
July 24, 2007, 12:32 PM
Sorry--the link works for me.
Here's the text:
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: July 24, 2007
Filed at 10:49 a.m. ET
CHESHIRE, Conn. (AP) -- Two men were charged with burglary, arson and sexual assault for allegedly breaking into a doctor's home, forcing a hostage to withdraw cash at a bank and burning the house several hours later, killing the doctor's wife and two daughters.
William Petit Jr., a prominent endocrinologist, was severely injured and was the sole survivor of Monday's attack. The suspects were caught fleeing the burning home, which they apparently set on fire to cover their tracks, authorities said.
Joshua Komisarjevky, 26, of Cheshire, and Steven Hayes, 44, of Winsted, were due in court Tuesday on charges of assault, sexual assault, kidnapping, burglary, robbery and arson. State police said additional charges were likely.
It wasn't immediately clear if the two had attorneys.
Bank employees contacted police when one of the suspects accompanied a female hostage, who was not identified, to make a withdrawal around 9:30 a.m. Monday.
Petit's wife, Jennifer Hawke-Petit, 48, and daughters Hayley, 17, and Michaela, 11, were found dead in the home, a law enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation said.
The attack rocked Cheshire, an upper-middle class community of 29,000 full of colonial-style homes just east of Waterbury and about 15 miles north of New Haven.
''In Cheshire we're not used to this type of event,'' town Police Chief Michael Cruess said. ''It's a very unfortunate, tragic event that's probably going to reach right down to the core of the community.''
Hayley Petit had received an early acceptance to Dartmouth, her father's alma mater. She was a fundraiser for multiple sclerosis and captain of the basketball and crew teams. She was also devoted to her school, so much so that even while she was recovering from a collapsed lung, she attend commencement.
''She was such a good, good person,'' said M. Burch Tracy Ford, head of school at Miss Porter's School in Farmington. ''The younger kids just worshipped the ground she walked on.''
Dr. Petit, 50, the president of the Hartford County Medical Association, is a noted specialist in diabetes and endocrinology and the medical director of the Joslin Diabetes Center Affiliate at The Hospital of Central Connecticut in New Britain.
''It is a shocking day for everyone. It's just beyond anyone's understanding,'' said Larry Tanner, president and chief executive officer of the hospital.
Jennifer Hawke-Petit was a nurse and co-director of the health center at Cheshire Academy, a private boarding school.
''They're just a lovely family,'' said the Rev. Ronald A. Rising, a neighbor for more than a decade. ''It's just awful to think it would happen to a family like that in this community. You don't think about those things happening.''
--The New York Times, July 24, 2007
July 24, 2007, 12:36 PM
I have now said a dozen and 1 times, I carry 24/7 where legal! People can say that is chest thumping if they want. I call it 1) being prepared and 2) maintaining the constant mind-set that I will defend my family without hestitation, and in any location, public or home.
Guy B. Meredith
July 24, 2007, 05:08 PM
I've seen some articles. Any TV reporting or other news on the connection between the BGs and victims?
One local case in a normally quiet upscale neighborhood involved a furniture delivery person who had made a delivery to the house.
July 24, 2007, 05:42 PM
Better to be judged by 12, than carried by six!
Heavy Metal Hero
July 24, 2007, 05:54 PM
No murder charge???
July 24, 2007, 06:50 PM
just another reason to be trained and prepared. I hear a lot of stories and arcticles of home invasions around here, in fact two ringleaders of a 6 man home invasion gang were just convicted for invasions commited near Eldersburg, MD after commiting a few smash and grab invasions. They kicked in the door, ran inside, subdued the owners, and then cleaned them out. No CCL is available to protect yourself, or your family, you may only have that honor at the sole discretion of the Chief of Police to protect your boss's money. Preparing for a crime of this nature presents a few unique challenges, first is that due to the fairly rural area and lack of a county police dept (sheriffs office and state troopers have jurisdiction) response time tends to run 15+ minutes at best, a strong deadbolt at all entrance points and good alarm can give you valuable time to wake up and grab your HD arm, running family drills can be instrumental in preparing everyone to baricade themselves in a safe place, or escape in case of fire. This is an occasion where a hi-cap carbine may be an ideal weapon, more capacity against multiple burglars, and ability to peirce soft armor (two of the eldersburg gang used IIa vests). You never know who or what might go bump in the night, but preparing for a variety of trouble will give you a better chance weither it be fire, bears, lone crack head, or organized and armed invasion gang.
July 24, 2007, 07:18 PM
First degree homicide charges are pending. These two were the worst of the worst. One of them, Komisarjevsky, who had a long history of clever and ruthless B&Es, apparently lived less than two miles from where the invasion happened. They met in drug rehab.
The Hartford Courant, the local paper, has had the most detailed coverage.
"Joshua Komisarjevsky, 26, of 840 North Brooksvale Road, Cheshire, and Steven Hayes, 44, of 5-H Horne Ave., Winsted, each face a multitude of charges, including first-degree aggravated sexual assault and first-degree kidnapping. State police said the investigation is continuing and that more charges will be filed.
"Both suspects have long criminal records and were on parole after serving time in prison for past burglaries. They were arraigned on the new charges in Superior Court in Meriden, with bail for each man set at $15 million."
Why any bail at all?
A smart, two-perp break-in at 3 AM, if you don't have a dog or an alarm, is going to be tough to respond to effectively unless you've really drilled your family and more than one of you is armed. The pieces I've read don't say whether the men had weapons.
The wife/mom went into the bank alone at 9 AM, and then, after alerting the teller that her family were hostages, she went back there with the guy. Would you have stayed in the bank?
How is that dad going to live the rest of his life?