It was an ordinary Wednesday morning in Venice, California, but not for Melora Rivera. When a transient broke down the front door of Riveras Venice Beach home earlier this week, all she had time to do was grab her cellphone and flee – onto the roof.
The young woman says she was in bed at the time of the intrusion, wearing only a flannel shirt.
“He managed to break one of these panels and reach in to unlock the door,” Rivera said. “Once I saw him in the house, I knew that I didn’t want to have a confrontation with him of any sort, you know, not knowing what his intention was.”
At this time, Rivera climbed out the window and onto the roof while the intruder was following her intently. Before she exited the room, however, she managed to grab her cell phone and call 911. Officers surrounded the premises in a little less than two minutes after being dispatched.
“The drop is, I would guess, more than 20 feet,”
Rivera explained, as she described her escape route.
“There was no safely jumping off the roof or coming down from the roof at that point.”
Rivera crouched below a window ledge and hid as the intruder peered over the roofline. Moments later, the fire department responded to the scene and quickly helped her down.
In the mean time, police coerced the intruder to surrender, at which point he was arrested. All of this was captured by a witness on the ground, whose dramatic photos of the incident have since gone viral on social media. The young woman can be seen crouching atop the roof in the 1400 block of Riviera Street.
The trespasser was later identified by surrounding residents as 29-year old Christian Hicks, a well-known homeless man. In fact, it turns out one of Rivera’s neighbors had called the police on Hicks earlier that same morning for trespassing into someone’s yard.
According to LAPD Officer Liliana Preciado, Hicks’ bail has been set at $50,000, and he has since been charged with burglary.