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Catching intruder was a family affair

January 14, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
A Great Dane helped a family catch a burglar in their Ladera Ranch home early Wednesday morning. The pet woke the family, barking and growling at the intruder. Ace the huge, black puppy isn't just a Great Dane, he's the "great bane" of one suspect's life right now: 22-year-old Zachary Chanoski made the poor choice of breaking into this Ladera Ranch home.

"And the dog was just barking like I've never heard him bark before," said homeowner Michael Garvin.

Michael just had surgery on his foot, so he asked his 14-year-old son Nicholas to see what Ace was barking about. That's when Nicholas started screaming.

"'There's a man in the house, there's a man in the house,'" said Michael Garvin.

"I kind of freaked out because I've never seen, I've never been in this position before," said Michael's son Nicholas. "I basically screamed for my dad."

"I heard the terror in his voice. I didn't think about my foot," said Michael. "I just jumped up, I looked down the hall, I saw a guy running down the hall, and I just ran as fast as I could after him."

Michael is no slouch. He's well-versed in two different martial arts and even sparred with Chuck Norris. He says he grabbed Chanoski and wrestled him to the ground, but he was hobbled with a crushed foot and Chanoski was putting up a good fight.

"He was stomping on my foot to get out of the hold and it hurt," said Michael. "I have about 60 stitches in my foot right now, and I let go."

There is an advantage when you have a broken foot and you're in a fight. A busted foot generally means you have a crutch, just great for helping you walk, and even better for fending off bad guys.

"The first thing I did was hit him with the crutch and knocked him to the ground, and then I put him in a choke hold," said Michael.

But when Chanoski started to break free once again, Michael's wife introduced him to a baseball bat.

"My wife hit him with a baseball bat," said Michael.

Soon after, Orange County Sheriff deputies arrived and took Chanoski into custody. Michael Garvin's cast was shattered, his foot aching, but his family is unhurt. Not the case for Charnoski, who is battered and bruised and behind bars.

"I was thrilled because my dad totally took control. He's got a leg broken and he still kicked this guy's butt," said Nicholas.

"We acted as a family," said Michael. A family you really don't want to intrude upon.


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