14-yr-old girl punched in face during Merced Co. home invasion


"I was so scared because they kicked the door, and then they entered to our room."

This fourteen year old girl whose identity we're protecting could not fight back tears as she told us about the masked men who attacked her family Tuesday night.

"They hit me in my face, and they were asking for money, and we say we don't have money. Then one of them kick my mom."

The girl's father was also beaten and suffered a cut to his head as he tried to fight off as many as five intruders. And her six year old niece was dragged out of bed by her hair.

Deputy Tom MacKenzie said, "As the commotion was going on, one of the daughters had a boyfriend who heard the commotion and was able to jump out the window with a cell phone. The suspects entered that bedroom, noticed the open window and reached out the window and fired a handgun."

Deputy MacKenzie says the men also fired several more shots as they sped away from the home in a car once they realized one of the victims had escaped. William Emart lives nearby and heard the gunfire, but thought it was someone scaring away coyotes.

Reporter: "How surprised are you to hear what actually happened?"

"Blown away," said Emart. "We're in a rural area here, there's not very many people living here, although the population has probably doubled since I've moved, it's unbelievable."

Detectives are still investigating if the family was intentionally targeted or if the invasion was a random act. But they say the violence against children in the home shows just how dangerous the criminals are.

Deputy MacKenzie said, "Obviously these people are pretty violent and lowlifes and they need to be put in jail."

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