Castaic homeowner holds burglar at gunpoint until deputies arrive

ByMelissa MacBride and staff via KABC logo
Tuesday, January 6, 2015
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A Castaic homeowner fought off a burglar and held the suspect at gunpoint until deputies arrived.

CASTAIC, Calif. (KABC) -- A Castaic homeowner fought off a burglar and held the suspect at gunpoint until deputies arrived Sunday night.

The incident happened around 10:30 p.m. on the 28000 block of Sloan Canyon Road.

Jeff Preach, 63, was watching TV Sunday night when the doorbell rang. He got up to see who was outside.

"I opened the door and I said, 'What do you want?' Preach said, adding that the suspect then began mumbling. "So finally he goes, 'I want a $100 million,' and I said, 'well, you came to the wrong house pal.'"

When Preach denied him, the suspect allegedly punched him in the face. That punch escalated into a knockdown drag-out fight.

Preach's friend, Larry Bensell, who was in the guest room, heard noise downstairs.

"I wasn't quite sure what was going on. I had my headphones on, and I popped them off and all I heard was 'call the police,'" Bensell said.

At that point, Preach's wife was awake and called 9-1-1. After a brief scuffle, Preach pinned the intruder down.

"I'm a big guy, I was a football player, I was a linebacker in college and I pinned the son of a ----- to the floor, pinned him good," Preach said.

Just three weeks ago, Preach had back surgery and he didn't think he could hold the suspect. Bensell, who just had a hernia operation, took over so Preach could get a shotgun.

The suspect allegedly told Bensell he was on heroin.

Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies arrived and arrested 20-year-old Salvador Medrano on suspicion of robbery. He is being held at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station in lieu of $100,000 bail.

Preach only has two scratches on his face and a small bruise on his left eye. The dynamic duo is just relieved they prevailed against the attacker half their age.

"It all turned out OK. Nobody got hurt so that's cool," Bensell said.