Victim of home invasion speaks out, offers advice

Stephanie Markham, Editor-in-Chief

Forced to sit with his head down in his bathtub, Ian Thompson was instructed by the armed, masked intruders in his apartment to count to 100.

“I was worried they were going shoot me the moment I said 100,” Thompson said, referring to the robbery and home invasion he was victim of last Friday.

Thompson, a junior family and consumer sciences major who recently transferred to Eastern, resides at 1429 Seventh St., but said he is soon moving into a new building—one that is equipped with security cameras.

Thompson said he was alone in his apartment with the door unlocked when the intruders entered wearing masks and hoodies, pointed a gun to his face and placed a bag over his head.

It was 10 a.m.

“I was able to stay calm for the majority of it,” he said. “When this whole thing started, I thought this was like a nightmare; it wasn’t real.”

Thompson had just returned from dropping his roommate off at the Mattoon train station. He sat down for about 10 minutes before the ordeal began.

The two intruders initially lead Thompson into his bedroom where he pleaded with them not to take his laptop, which contained personal information and classwork, he said.

Then they knocked him down by striking the back of his head and pulled the gun on him yet again as he stood up, Thompson said.

“He yanks the laptop off the table and he hands it to me; then he shoves me into the closet,” Thompson said. “After a few minutes of rummaging through my stuff and taking things, he has me move into the bathroom.”

Thompson was not shot when he reached 100.

Rather, the intruders were gone from his home—as were his van, wallet, cellphone, TV, media player and headphones, he said.

Thompson immediately ran to a neighbor who consoled him and phoned the police.

“When it was over, I didn’t know what was going on,” he said. “I was discombobulated, and I was confused and I was upset; obviously my sense of security was just shattered.”

Despite the intruders’ masks, Thompson had descriptions to offer the police; he said he had just invited them over to his apartment the night before.

After meeting a couple of new people the previous night, Thompson said he invited them over to talk, watch movies and socialize.

He believes these are the people who invaded his home, as he identified their pictures with the police.

According to a press release issued Friday by the Charleston Police Department, Monique C. Williams, 18, of Charleston, and Royce D. Hughes, 23, of Chicago, are wanted on the charge of home invasion in connection with the incident. Both have bonds set at $250,000.

The suspects fled the scene in Thompson’s 2005 Dodge Caravan, according to the press release.

Brittany L. Bush, 22, of Charleston, was arrested on the charge of obstructing justice in connection with the incident.

Thompson said he wants people to learn from his experience. For instance, doors should always be locked even while at home.

“You need to know someone very well before you invite them to your home,” he said. “I’m not saying you need to be paranoid, but you just have to know someone.”

However, he said being cautious should not equal being completely closed off to making friends.

“Of course you won’t make friends if you don’t talk to strangers, but I’m saying you have to be very careful because you never know someone’s motives when you first meet them,” he said. “I didn’t.”

Thompson said people have told him he did the right thing by not trying to fight back against an armed intruder, but he tries not to ponder the situation too much.

“I’m mainly happy for two things,” he said. “I’m alive and I’m OK, and my laptop wasn’t stolen.”


Stephanie Markham can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]