EAST PIKELAND - A man got a little more than he bargained for when he happened to enter a home on the 1000 block of North Chester Springs Road on July 20.
Upon entering the residence through an open back door at 4 a.m., a man later identified as Jess Heintzelman, 19, of the 600 block of Deep Hollow Road, Chester Springs, was spotted by the homeowner, Joseph Varady.
Little did the intruder realize that Varady has 17 years of experience in Cuong Nhu Oriental Martial Arts, and holds a third degree black belt. Varady said he actually thought it was a friend of his that was in his residence, and not an intruder.
"My friend David Burton and myself were playing chess late that night," said Varady. "Since it was rather late, Dave decided he was going to sleep over at our home. I went to bed around 3 a.m. and got up around 4 a.m. to tend to our baby."
Varady said his wife reminded him to make sure the doors were locked to the residence. As he left their bedroom, Varady said he spotted a light on in the kitchen. Presuming it was his friend Dave, Varady said he went outside towards the garage to check on his friend.
"I stepped into the garage and saw someone crouched down behind the jogging stroller," said Varady. "I said 'Get up!' and instead of it being Dave, it was some tall kid dressed in black with a flashlight and a backpack."
Varady said he told the individual, later identified as Heintzelman, to hand over the flashlight and ordered him into the residence. After cornering the man in his kitchen, Varady said, he yelled for his wife to call the police.
"This kid is getting really antsy, but he can't go anywhere because I'm standing there with his flashlight, ready to take him if he makes a move," said Varady. "Sure enough, the kid dashed out of the back door, and after a chase through our backyard, I headed him off on the other side of our bushes. The next thing I knew I was kneeling over him with one hand on his throat. I told him to stop struggling. He tried fighting me and I told him 'I'm going to put some (expletive) on you that isn't going to feel too good.' I grabbed his ankle and sat back hard into an ankle lock. He began begging me to ease up on his leg. I think he was relieved when the police showed up."
East Pikeland Police arrived on the scene and took Heintzelman into custody.
Following his experience, Varady said everyone in his home is safe and sound, and that he didn't use any more force than was needed to handle the situation.
"Just a word of advice from me to everyone, lock your doors and always be ready for anything," said Varady.
Heintzelman waived his preliminary hearing Thursday morning at district court on two counts of burglary and criminal trespass; and a single count of receiving stolen property.
During their investigation, police discovered a tan 2001 Honda parked across the street in Heather Lane. The trunk of the vehicle wasn't secure, and police noticed a gun and cash lying inside the trunk.
Heintzelman signed a permission-to-search form to look inside the vehicle, and police discovered $139 in cash and a Marine Corps Commemorative .45 caliber pistol in a case.
Police said Heintzelman stated that he took the gun and money from a residence along the 900 block of Heather Lane. He told police he entered the residence through an open door, took the items, and placed them in the trunk of his vehicle.
Heintzelman was remanded back to Chester County Prison in lieu of ten percent of $10,000 bail.
His next court appearance is scheduled for Thursday, August 5, 2004.