3 Suspects Charged in Home Invasion on Black Family in Michigan in Racially Motivated Attack: Prosecutors
The three white suspects had dogs, and were armed with a knife and a bat during the home invasion that was caught on camera, a report said.
Three white people have been charged for breaking into the home of a black family during a violent home invasion in Michigan that was caught on camera, according to a published report.
The suspects were identified as Branden Odegaard, 37, Michael Graves, 47, and Maci Pietryga, 26. All three were charged with ethnic intimidation, a felony punishable by a maximum penalty of two years in prison and $5,000, the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office said.
Odegaard, and Graves, were also charged with first-degree home invasion, a felony punishable by up to 20 years and $5,000. And, Pietryga, was charged with first-degree aiding and abetting home invasion, a felony punishable by up to 20 years and $5,000, according to prosecutors, the Detroit News reported.
As of Thursday, all three were in the Oakland County Jail. They have not yet entered pleas.
“I want to be very clear that I have zero tolerance for hate crimes," Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald said. "Hate has no place here in Oakland County, and I will do everything in my power to hold those who attempt to threaten or harm our residents accountable.”
The incident happened early Monday when the three suspects broke into the residents' home located in Walled Lake, Michigan, and allegedly "threatened to kill the occupants, including two children," investigators said in a statement. "One of the defendants allegedly used a racial epithet,” according to the Detroit News.
A mother and her two children, ages 9 and 13, were home doing the break-in, WDIV reported.
The 13-year-old woke up when he heard a ruckus outside his home and proceeded to wake up his little brother. Moments later, their mother was in their bedroom, armed with a gun as the three suspects began entering the home, and she fired shots through the bedroom window. As this was happening, she managed to call her husband, who works overnight in Detroit, WDIV News4 Detroit, reported.
The father said he heard the assailants banging and kicking down the door. He also said they had dogs with them, a knife and a club, the New York Post reported.
“I heard the first shot and that’s when she, they were in the house,” he said, according to the Post. “I can hear the guy saying, ‘I’m going to kill you.’ The n-word and all that.”
He told the news station it was a “hate crime," adding that “they knew it was a black family,” and ”when you have kids, you do what you gotta do.”
By the time the husband drove to his home, all three suspects were in custody.
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