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Neighbors shocked to learn Santa Maria family fought off armed home invaders

Washing his car Sunday outside his home on Frank Lane in Santa Maria, Frank McCormack Jr. was still in disbelief that his neighbors across the street fought off three armed home invaders early Saturday morning.

“We could’ve had some people dead right here,” McCormack said.

McCormack said his neighborhood on Santa Maria’s west side is full of working class families and rarely experiences crime.

“We were really shocked,” McCormack said. “We’ve never heard of anything like that happen in this neighborhood.”

Santa Maria police said three suspects armed with a rifle and knives broke into a home near the intersection of Frank Lane and Western Avenue some time before 5:30 a.m. Saturday.

The homeowners were awoken when one suspect put a gun to the father’s head and demanded valuables.

When the couple’s 11-year-old son heard the disturbance, he entered his parents’ room, saw the gun pointed at his father and tackled the gunman without hesitation.

“That was really brave of the young man,” Raynmundo Benegas, a neighbor, said.

“An 11-year-old, wow, that’s really impressive and brave for that young man to come to his dad’s aid with a gun to his head,” McCormack said.

Once the boy got the gun away from his father, his parents and teenage brother began fighting the robbers, police said.

Two of the assailants fled the home but the father pinned one of them until police arrived.

Police said the mother and one son were treated at the hospital for serious injuries they sustained during the fight with the suspects.

“It’s terrible, I honestly don’t expect anything like that to happen around here,” Benegas said.

“It’s pretty crazy, pretty savage,” Jesse Patlan said.

Living just around the corner with several young nephews, Patlan said he’s glad his neighbors are OK but he’s fed up with criminals hurting innocent people.

“I wish they would’ve came here so I could sock them up,” Patlan said.

Police captured the three suspects who were identified as Alberto Pablo Montes, 18, Manual Duran, 18, and a 15-year-old boy, whose name was not released.

But the apprehension of the suspects does little to restore a sense of security for neighbors.

“It’s just crazy that it’s right here,” McCormack said. “It happens everywhere but for it to be here, it’s still kind of crazy.”

Police canvased the neighborhood Sunday, asking neighbors if they heard or saw anything related to the home invasion and whether they have relevant surveillance footage from Saturday morning.

Aja Goare

Aja Goare

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