Local News

11-year-old injured in aborted Fayetteville home invasion

Posted October 14, 2011

— Two people have been charged with trying to break into a Fayetteville home this week, injuring a boy who was inside in the process.

Gary Nicolas, 11, was home alone Tuesday afternoon when he heard a pounding on the locked front door. Outside, he saw a man and a woman.

"(It was) like boom, boom, boom, and the woman said, 'Let's do this thing,'" Gary recalled on Friday.

Thinking no one was home, the burglars tried to force their way inside by kicking open the door.

"(One) side of the door came off, and the piece that tore off hit me in the face," Gary said.

The man on the porch then saw Gary through the opening.

"When the guy saw me, he started running to the vehicle with his girl," Gary said.

The boy ran crying to a neighbor's house and called police, giving them descriptions of the two would-be burglars and their car.

Raiheam Owens and Amaria Hornbeck, Fayetteville home invasion Pair charged with trying to break into Fayetteville home

A short time later, police spotted a burgundy Ford Taurus that matched Gary's description a short distance away on Marlowe Drive. Officers stopped the car, and the boy identified the man and woman inside as the people who tried to break into his house.

Raiheam Lee Owens, 24, and Amaria Tayshunay Hornbeck, 21, were charged with breaking and entering, felony conspiracy and assault on a child under 12.

Owens has been convicted previously on breaking and entering and larceny and he has several similar cases pending, police said.

Gary suffered a bruise under his left eye, but he had a great story to share at school.

"Now, they're all saying I'm a hero, like my teacher (and) my principal," he said.


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  • kermit60 Oct 18, 2011

    I'm glad the kid is ok. It would have been scary for an adult. When are the DAs and Judges going to start holding these people accountable for their actions. It would have been unexcuseable if that child would have been injured or worse by a man who should of already been in jail.

  • candacewilliams121209 Oct 17, 2011

    He did the right thing by going to a neighbor's house! We were always told as kids if something doesn't seem right when you get home, go to a neighbor's. Someone tried to kick the door in at his house, it wasn't safe for him to stay there. Good job Gary!

  • sunshine1040 Oct 14, 2011

    Why does he need a cell phone the house phone would have worked also but then I guess an 11 year old does not know how to use a phone for anything but texting

  • vraptor Oct 14, 2011

    Way to go Gary. Give him a cell phone so he can call 911 if he is put in dangers way again.

    Men that cry are supposed to better balanced and rugged. I say if you don't bleed every once in a while; then your not a man. Have you ever looked at your shirt and there is blood on it and you didn't know you where cut??? Happens to me all the time.

  • iwannaseethereceipts Oct 14, 2011

    Touchofgrey, are you implying that there is something shameful about a child (or a male child) crying in the middle of a would-be home invasion?

  • touchofgrey Oct 14, 2011

    I'm sure the young man appreciated the article saying "he ran crying" to a neighbor's house!

  • Rebelyell55 Oct 14, 2011

    Fine citizens, now that they got him again, wonder what kind of bond he'll get to go along with all the other cases still pending? Why do they keep letting him out?

  • dirkdiggler Oct 14, 2011

    couple of no good crooks. im glad Gary made out better than the last kid i read about in NC who was home during a similar situation.

    when will people start investing their time and energy in supporting themselves instead of stealing from those who already do?