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Man finds wife pinned by suspect during Highland home invasion

June 15, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Highland resident Michael Brionas had just got home from work Wednesday morning when he saw his wife pinned down and choked by a home-invasion suspect.

"I want to say it seemed like five minutes, but it was probably 30 seconds," said Brionas, adding that his wife started screaming his name. "I was kind of in shock, I didn't know what to do I couldn't process it."

Then the suspect, 26-year-old transient Michael Holland, turned his attention to Brionas himself.

"He stands up and he has his arm like he has something in there, and he says if I come any closer she was going to die, I wasn't going to let anything happened to her," Brionas said. "I ran into the kitchen and I grabbed a knife and we just kind of struggled in the living room. Blows were exchanged."

As Brionas screamed for help, neighbors came to assist him.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department says that's when the suspect took off and ran up the street and into the wash, but deputies soon caught up and arrested him.

Brionas suffered a broken hand. His wife was resting at her mother's house from being choked and stabbed in the arm.

Brionas said the incident didn't change his thoughts about the safety of his neighborhood.

"We've been here for 21 years, cars stolen, homes broken into, nothing of this magnitude, but no, we're not going to let this affect us," he said.

The suspect apparently broke in through a screen window.

Anyone with information is asked to call investigators at (909) 473-9793.

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