Port Angeles homeowner shoots at would-be robbers


Louie Rychilk

PORT ANGELES, Washington - A man near Port Angeles turned the tables on two would-be robbers early Sunday morning when he took a shot at one who attempted to enter his home.

The Clallam County Sheriff’s Office was warning residents to keep doors and windows locked, and to not open doors to strangers, after two home invasions in two days.

“This is unheard of around here,” said Louie Rychilk, the man who shot at the intruder.

The attempted break-in at his home began at about 1:30 a.m. Sunday when someone knocked on his door.

“I looked out here and a kid was sitting out here, and he says, ‘I’m out of gas,’ and I say, ‘I ain’t got no gas,’” Rychilk said.

When the young man asked for a phone, Rychilk said he became suspicious. He grabbed a phone, along with his .38-caliber pistol and came back to the door with the weapon cocked.

“I opened the door with my left hand … and this other guy run around here with a gun right in my face like that,” Rychilk said. “I slammed the door and let fire. I should have been another inch high and I would have nailed the guy standing right there.”

The men ran. Deputies said they don’t believe they were hit.

One of the men took off so fast, he left a pair of shoes at Rychilk’s door. Deputies processed the shoes as evidence and said they’ve received a lot of tips from the public regarding home invasions.

Police said they think there was a third man, a getaway driver, and that the men were possibly the same three who invaded a home in the Gales addition area of Port Angeles early Saturday. Cash and jewelry was stolen in that robbery.

“There’s just too many similarities to this to not think that they’re not connected,” chief criminal deputy Ron Cameron said.

He issued the warning for homeowners to keep their homes locked up and to be wary of strangers.

Rychilk said he’s never far from a 9mm pistol.

“Since Sunday, I’ve been carrying it on me all the time,” he said.

He added that he hopes the deputies catch up with the robbers.

“’Cause I want to ask them to come on back. Just knock on the back door and I’ll answer it for you,” he said.