Ashtabula babysitter and mother recalls terrifying armed home invasion

Published: May. 4, 2023 at 10:50 PM EDT
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ASHTABULA, Ohio (WOIO) - An Ashtabula woman is still trying to make sense of the nightmare she went through on Wednesday. The woman, who wanted to remain anonymous, was held at gunpoint in front of two small children at her niece’s apartment.

“The kids started to cry because they couldn’t get off the couch and they were scared, and my daughter asked, ‘Mommy why does he have a gun in your face?’ I started to cry, and they started yelling at me ‘cause the kids were getting more irritated.”

The young woman was babysitting her four-year-old daughter and her two-year-old nephew when three armed men burst showed up at her niece’s apartment on Glover Drive in Ashtabula around 5 P.M.

“Then he pulled a gun out on me and the other gentleman that was in the apartment first came down the hallway and pulled his gun and the next thing I know the doors slamming and I hear it lock and another man’s coming in and he’s armed,” she recalled.

The Ashtabula mother said the kids were trying to come down the hallway and then men ordered them to sit on the couch while they demanded money, but she says there was nothing of value in the apartment.

“It was terrifying,” she said. “I just begged them because I lost my daughter’s father to gun violence a month before I had her and all I could think was she’s about to lose two parents and hopefully that they don’t hurt them.”

Eventually, the mother of the little boy who was in the home did call the police, but the family waited nearly 45 minutes, not because they didn’t want help but because they were terrified. The three men repeatedly threatened them not to call the cops.

“My babysitter just called me saying that three people just ran into my house with guns up to her and my baby and that they told her if she sends the cops or anything that they’re around the area and they’re gonna light the house up,” a woman said in the call to police.

“APD was upset by how long we took to call but they don’t understand like it’s our lives you’re not gonna make it there in time if they come back,” said the babysitter.

The babysitter said the suspects were three young men wearing hoodies jeans and tennis shoes and they pulled up to the apartment in a Volkswagen SUV.

The babysitter said the police know the identity of at least one of the suspects.

Police have not returned our requests for comment.