ASHEBORO — A man held three suspects at gunpoint when they broke into his parents’ house Sunday afternoon.
According to Lt. Col. Mark Lineberry with the Asheboro Police Department, the break-in took place at 119 McKnight St., Asheboro, at approximately 2:20 p.m.
Stephen Routh, who watches over the McKnight Street residence for his parents, received a call from a neighbor that three kids appeared to be breaking into the house.
Lineberry said Routh, followed by his son, began to drive to the scene. While on the way, Routh called 911, alerting them of the situation. He told them he was on his way and that he was armed.
When Routh arrived, he caught the three teenage suspects leaving the house. They were held at gunpoint by Routh until Asheboro officers arrived on the scene.
Saulo Chi Alverz, 17, of 4 Forest Brook Circle, Asheboro, was charged with breaking and entering, as well as possession of marijuana.
The remaining two suspects were younger than 16. Juvenile petitions will be sought on each of them.
Routh’s son, Hunter Routh, and Hunter’s girlfriend, Madison Hall, described their involvement and perspective of the incident during a phone interview Monday afternoon.
“I was at home using the restroom,” Hunter said. “I heard Dad say something over the phone about a robbery.”
From conversation overheard during the phone call and details supplied by Hall, Hunter gathered that his father was headed to his grandparents’ house on McKnight Street.
“I told Madison to start the car for me,” Hunter said. “I went and got my pistol ready.”
“The main reason I flew over there was because there were three (suspects). … I didn’t know who it was going to be. I didn’t know if it was going to be potential gangs in the area. I didn’t know if they had friends waiting with weapons. Dad can take care of himself, but I wanted to make certain no one would be hurt.”
When Hunter got there, he told his girlfriend to stay in the car in case anything were to happen.
He found his father — whom he calls “The Captain” — already had the three suspects on the ground.
“I came out with my pistol cocked and aimed from behind,” Hunter said. His dad, who didn’t know he was coming, directed him to search around the whole house to make sure no one else was around.
“I was just there to back him up if need be,” Hunter said. “I let him lead. I was there to protect him.”
Routh told the boys on the ground to not move, according to Hunter. The oldest of the three kept making smart comments, and Hunter was concerned he might try to make a run for it.
“When I found out how old they were, I became extremely angry,” Hunter said. “Why should I ever have to hold my gun at a 14-, or 15- or 16-year-old?”
Hall remained in the car during the altercation, but could see some of the situation unfolding from where she was.
“I personally, from my perspective, only saw one person on the ground, but knew there was more,” Hall said. “The oldest one … his head kept coming up, trying to plead. You could hear (Hunter’s) dad yelling.”
A few minutes after Hunter and Hall arrived, police began to show up.
“I was seeing all these cops pull up and was trying to signal they were in the backyard,” Hall said. “It felt really surreal. You never expect to be in that situation.”
Though nothing was stolen by the three suspects, the house was “ransacked.”
“They wrecked the whole kitchen where we’ve had many Christmas mornings,” Hunter said.
Hunter and Hall both described watching video footage of the incident back later. In it, Routh is seen being authoritative while holding the suspects at gunpoint.
“He was very calm and collected,” Hunter said. “I think he was prepared for that moment. I’ve been mentally preparing myself for moments like that should it happen. … I’m glad no one got shot and no one was hurt.”
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