by Emily Engle
On Wednesday, September 24, a homeless man broke into a California woman’s home while she slept and upon becoming aware of his presence, she was forced to escape to her roof and hide under an eave, all while contacting police. Melora Rivera, identified by KTLA-report, described seeing 29-year-old Christian Hicks in her house and climbing out of a 2nd-story window to avoid confrontation, all with Hicks still following her.
Hicks reportedly broke a panel in Rivera’s home and unlocked the front door to gain entrance. She was forced to escape in only a flannel shirt. A neighbor, Alexandria Thompson, witnessed and photographed the ordeal, capturing images of Hicks mere feet from Rivera as she huddled with her phone, speaking to dispatchers. Another neighbor captured the event on video.
According to CBS Los Angeles, Rivera stated, “He managed to break one of these panels and reach in to unlock the door…Once I saw him in the house, I knew that we both couldn’t be there. I knew that I didn’t want to have a confrontation with him of any sort, you know, not knowing what his intention was.”
Police arrived at the home less than two minutes after being dispatched. Neighbors reported that initially, police were unsure if Rivera was the burglar because despite police demands, she refused to come down off the roof. Rivera later stated that the drop was much too high to consider jumping. She added that in those moments, her biggest fear was that Hicks would come even closer to her in an attempt to avoid the officers entering the home.
Police soon were able to convince Hicks to surrender, though, and the fire department safely removed Rivera from the roof.
It was later discovered that Hicks had been arrested for a different offense only hours before, after wandering into a neighbor’s yard; he was let go because the neighbor did not want to identify him in person.
Hicks is charged with burglary and his bail is currently set at $50,000. If convicted, he faces a maximum of eight years in prison.
Below, Rivera is seen crouching under an eave as Hicks peers over the roof. (Photo taken by Alexandria Thompson)