Man uses shovel to break into home, homeowner fights back

RAINIER, Wash. — A Rainier homeowner fought back when an intruder smashed through the family’s glass front door with a shovel early Saturday morning.

“Every dad’s worst nightmare,” said Joey Archer. “I grabbed the shovel and yanked it out of his hand, and he had the butt of it, so I grabbed it, yanked it and hooked him in the head with (it) twice just wham, wham.”

Joey and his wife, Beth Archer, live off Koeppen Road in Rainier with their young daughters.

“They were terrified; they were crying and scared,” said Beth.

Safety is a priority for the family. Their property is fenced, the front gate is always locked and they have nearly 20 cameras surrounding their home.

“We should be prepared, and we should be aware that these things are happening, and you should protect your families as well,” said Beth.

Saturday morning the man climbed over their fence onto their property. He rummaged around in one of their cars and then spent time inside their barn. The man then headed up to their home and began ringing the doorbell.

Before the Archers knew it, the man grabbed a shovel and tried prying open their car doors. When that didn’t work, he took a few swings and shattered the window.

“He was so out of his mind that he didn’t know to open the door, so he climbed up through the window,” said Joey.

Then the man headed for the house and started to break in.

“The only choice was to defeat the challenger, was to fight back, was to disable this person who was threatening my family,” said Joey.

Joey grabbed the shovel and took down the man in the front yard as Thurston County deputies arrives.

“It took six minutes for them to get here, and in that six minutes we needed to be able to defend ourselves,” said Beth.

Officers were knew the suspect well. He lives in a home nearby. He was arrested and charged him with residential burglary, criminal trespassing, vehicle prowl and more.

“Better cameras, tighter security and a shotgun and pistol, that’s how we’re going to respond to it and educating our kids and planning, planning to be as safe as possible,” said Joey.

The Archers said they wanted to share their story to help inform others of the potential dangers that can happen anywhere.