“When you’ve got a number of masked offenders enter your home armed … he has the right to defend himself,” – Darebin CIU detective Acting Sen-Sgt Brett Meadows
That is awfully magnanimous of the Australian authorities. At least they recognize that fundamental right, even if they disarm their law-abiding citizens leaving them to the tender mercies of a gang of thugs in the midst of a multi-day crime spree.
John Vitale, 62, told the Sunday Herald Sun he feared for his wife’s safety when two youths armed with a rifle and an axe allegedly stormed the family’s Coburg home.
Mr Vitale barricaded himself in an upstairs bedroom before confronting the males.
“I took a little pocket knife with me … I opened the bedroom door to confront him and there was a struggle,” Mr Vitale said yesterday.
“It was either do or die, he had a gun and was pointing it at me, I was holding the barrel of the gun.”
Mr Vitale said he stabbed at his attacker several times as the other male waved his axe yelling “I’ll kill you”.
Mr Vitale’s wife, Maryann, 52, dislocated her shoulder as she fell trying to flee.
She told the Sunday Herald Sun her family was traumatised but refused to live in fear.
“They are not going to win, bit by bit we will get through this,” Mrs Vitale said.
Mrs Vitale said many home invaders and carjackers in other crimes had been described as refugees who themselves had endured conflict, or first generation migrant teens, but the community and authorities must find a way to steer them from gangs and violence.
“How do you make them understand this (Australia) is a better place for them.”
A court on Friday heard the accused intruder injured — aged just 17 — was on bail when he embarked on a crime spree that ended in the violent aggravated burglary.
He admitted himself to the Monash Hospital emergency department at 1.10am but would not co-operate with police, the court was told.
He remained in hospital until Wednesday and refused to come to court on Thursday, finally arriving in the children’s court dock on Friday with his arm in plaster and a sling.
“The victims feel distressed and are in fear of their safety and that of their family,” the police prosecutor told the court.
“The accused’s offending is of a violent and aggressive nature.”
The terrifying encounter capped off a spate thefts and armed robberies in which a masked gang stormed shops armed with a tomahawk, axe and sledgehammer.
The stolen Range Rover was discovered in Cranbourne on November 30.
The police prosecutor said that at the time of the crime spree the teen was on bail for smashing up vehicles parked outside a Cranbourne East home with baseball bats, and that he has prior convictions for armed robbery and aggravated burglary.
How is that civilian-disarmament thing working out for you?