Seattle-area couple talks down intruder who punched through wall into daughter's bedroom

Intruder Punched Through Wall into Girl’s Room, Parents Talk Him Down

REDMOND, Wash. — Redmond police said they arrested a man who broke into a family's home by punching a hole in the wall and crawling through it.

The couple was sleeping with their young daughter during the break-in, KIRO 7 reported.

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Jon-Erik Golob and Jennifer Zhang said they heard noises around 6:30 a.m. on July 22. Other family members have keys to the home so the noise didn't seem unusual, they said.

The couple says they got out of bed when their daughter, Ada, started crying in her room.

The couple discovered a small hole in the wall and knew something was wrong.

“He pulled all the siding and there was a hole punched through the drywall that he could crawl through,” Golob said.

There was also a massive mess in the kitchen.

“Somebody was trying to make food, but things were in places they shouldn't have been,” Golob said.

The disturbing part was looking at the baby monitor, which made their hearts drop: A stranger was still inside and standing over their crying daughter.

“You just see this larger guy with a t-shirt on and that was the scary point,” Golob said. “So I run back and I grab a crowbar because I don't know if I have to attack or not.”

However, things took an unexpected turn when Golob confronted the suspect in his daughter's room.

He has a medical background. Once Golob was face to face with the man, he says it was clear the suspect was experiencing a mental episode.

“Here's a kid in our room who doesn't know what he's doing,” he said. “The person wasn't trying to hurt us. He wasn't trying to hurt our baby.”

As Golob sat down with the suspect, Zhang got her daughter out of the room.

“I said, ‘I’m going to get my kid, is that okay?’ He nodded yes and I pulled her out and called the cops,” Zhang said.

It was a close call that leaves the couple feeling compassion for the man who broke in. Golob's best friend battled with a mental illness. He says the man who broke in could have been his friend.

“We've been really close to mental illness before and we know how scary that can be from the other side,” Golob said.

Police say the man did not put up a fight when he was arrested minutes later. Golob and Zhang hope the man who gave them such a scare gets the help he needs.