A man who police said used a lawn statue of the Virgin Mary to break into a Frederick home was thwarted at gunpoint by a woman who lives there.
The woman held the intruder — who had a knife — at bay inside her home in the 500 block of Goldspire Circle until police arrived late Saturday.
Frederick officers were called to the house at 11:06 p.m. A woman had called 911 to report that a man broke into her home while she and another female resident were watching TV in the living room, according to charging documents. The man, Jose Mauricio Escobar-Flores, 40, was standing in the woman’s kitchen holding a knife when police arrived.
After officers ordered Escobar-Flores to drop the knife and placed him in handcuffs, the women told police that they had been watching TV when they heard Escobar-Flores, using the lawn statue, break the rear sliding glass door of their home, the documents state.
The women ran upstairs while Escobar-Flores was struggling with the door and, while one of the women called 911, the other armed herself with a handgun and ran back downstairs to confront the intruder.
Escobar-Flores grabbed a knife and ignored the woman’s orders to drop the weapon, but he remained in the kitchen until police arrived to arrest him, according to the documents.
Although Escobar-Flores was cooperative when police arrived, officers encountered a language barrier, and Lt. Kirk Henneberry could not say what might have motivated the break-in as of Tuesday.
Detectives were not aware of any connection between Escobar-Flores and either of the women as of Tuesday, Henneberry said.
Henneberry praised how the women kept police informed of the dangerous situation.
“I think they acted very wisely,” the lieutenant said. “One was explaining to the dispatcher exactly what was happening while the other was taking steps to defend themselves if they had to. ... For an unfortunate incident, it was a very fortunate outcome.”
Police said that after Escobar-Flores used the lawn statue of the Virgin Mary to break the glass door, he put the statue down and picked up two large knives and a sharpening tool in the kitchen, the documents state.
Officers approached the home with their guns drawn, but the confrontation was quickly de-escalated, Henneberry said.
Messages left on a number listed for the residence where the break-in occurred were not returned Tuesday afternoon.
Escobar-Flores, of no fixed address, was treated at the scene for injuries to his hands and arms from the broken glass, the documents state.
He was charged with home invasion, reckless endangerment, malicious destruction of property greater than $1,000, and first- and third-degree burglary, as well as two counts each of fourth-degree burglary and first- and second-degree assault, court records indicate.
Escobar-Flores was ordered held without bail and remained at the Frederick County Adult Detention Center as of Tuesday, court records state.