Woman uses Airsoft toy gun to scare off intruder in Deerfield Beach apartment
Story by Brett Clarkson, Erika Pesantes and Robert Nolin / Sun Sentinel
Posted by Scott T. Smith / CBS12 News
DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. — When Jane Rainboth was awaken from her sleep by a masked man peering into her bedroom, she reached for the black, semi-automatic pistol on her nightstand.
“I got a gun! I got a gun!” she hollered. But it was a trick — Rainboth’s gun was a plastic toy.
The would-be burglar turned heels and ran out the patio door, with Rainboth in hot pursuit down the hallway of her Deerfield Beach apartment.
“I guess if somebody tells you they’ve got a gun, you don’t want to stick around to find out if it’s real or not,” Rainboth said of the episode, which unfolded around 10 Monday night at an apartment complex in the 500 block of Trace Circle.
“You could see the whites of his eyes in the dark,” she said. “That’s kind of what haunts me.”
The medical billing agent said she kept her 17-year-old son Joshua’s fake pistol by her bed for protection, even though the spring-operated Airsoft replica shoots small rubber pellets barely harmful enough to hurt a squirrel.
Rainboth ran outside, screaming for help and calling 9-1-1. Broward sheriff’s deputies quickly arrived — with Rainboth still clutching the toy gun.
“They said, ‘Put the gun down, put the gun down!’ ” Rainboth recounted. She explained it was only a toy.
“They said, ‘Lady, put the gun down!’”
Rainboth complied. Teams of deputies and police dogs scoured the neighborhood. A helicopter buzzed overhead.
Soon caught by a police dog, hiding in nearby woods, was Roland Stuart, 27, of Deerfield Beach. Rainboth identified him as the intruder, and he was charged with burglary of an occupied dwelling. At a first court appearance Tuesday he was placed on a $75,000 bond.
“I hope he will learn something from this and maybe think twice before he ever does it again,” said Rainboth, who is now considering buying an alarm system.
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