Tuscaloosa, Alabama

From the Tuscaloosa News of November 14, 2007

Three arrests made in botched burglary attempt

Three men were arrested by police Monday night shortly after a botched burglary attempt.

According to a Tuscaloosa Police Department news release, Aaron Phelps, 23, Rhett Phelps, 19, and Jeremy Porter, 20, were arrested on first- degree burglary charges. Police say they tried to burglarize a residence in the 3400 block of Second Street Northeast about 8:15 p.m. Monday.

Police said the resident was watching TV when he heard a knock at his front door. When he opened the door to see if anyone was outside, he saw a man armed with a shotgun and wearing a Confederate flag bandana over his face.

The resident slammed the door and ran into the kitchen, police said. But he was caught by the man with the shotgun, who had forced his way in through the front door, and another man.

Police said the burglars held a shotgun to the resident’s head and demanded money, but the resident pushed the shotgun aside and began fighting with the burglars.

At some point during the fight, the resident grabbed the barrel of the shotgun while the intruder was still holding the other end, stepped outside his home and yelled for help.

While wrestling over the shotgun outside, the assailant pulled the trigger, but the shot missed the resident.

The resident managed to pull the shotgun from the assailant’s hands and both intruders fled into the woods nearby. Police said a third person joined the pair as they fled. The investigation led officials to the three, who were taken into custody and confessed, police said. Bail was set at $25,000 each. The resident suffered minor injuries.

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