Editor’s Note: This couple unfortunately was victimized by two thugs who changed their lives forever. Now, James and Meredith are being pro-active in their home defense and taking up arms. After this fateful day occurred in their lives, both of them realize having a gun in the home for self-defense is a good idea. Hopefully more couples will come to this realization before something this tragic happens to them.
A couple living in East Orange, New Jersey never wanted anything to do with firearms and, in fact, strongly deplored the idea of having one. But after enduring a violent home invasion and sexual assault, the couple, whose story was included as part of the ABC docu-series “NY Med” earlier this month, is not only grateful to be alive, but are now proud gun owners.
James Dittrich and Meredith Duffy, who were engaged to be married, had just moved into their new apartment three months prior to the incident which forever changed their lives. Dittrich had taken their dog outside right in front of the building for the last time of the night at about 12:30 a.m., when he found himself in a frightening predicament.
“I heard footsteps, and they kind of bum-rushed me from behind,” Dittrich recollected. “And I turned around, and there was a revolver in my face.”
The two suspects wanted to get inside Dittrich’s third-floor apartment, but he tried just handing over his wallet instead, hoping that would appease them. However, the $25 inside wasn’t sufficient for the suspects, who were adamant about getting in the apartment, but Dittrich desperately wanted to keep them at bay, as he knew his fiance, Duffy, was asleep inside.
Outnumbered two to one and with a gun in his face, Dittrich decided it would not be wise to try to fight them off, so he did what he felt was the only choice he had and let them inside. As they entered, he made as much noise as he could, hoping to wake his sleeping fiance and give her a heads up of the horrifying situation.
Duffy was awakened by the noise, but soon thereafter also had a gun pointed at her head as one of the men proceeded to sexual assault her.