'Jesus' chants scare away armed robber

9:55 AM, Jan 29, 2013   |    comments
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LAKE CITY, Florida (WTLV) -- A Lake City homeowner may have stopped an armed robbery by invoking the name of Jesus Friday evening according to the Lake City Police Department.

Police say that Jacquie Hagler was with her 14 friends having a jewelry party when a robber entered her home at 7:45 p.m. Friday.

Hagler first thought it was all part of a game the group was playing at the party. She said the jewelry party host told them to place their purses in their laps before the suspect arrived.

Police say the alleged robber, 24-year-old Derick Jeremy Lee said to them, "Give me your money and your phones" and threw a black bag down on the table.

The women, at first, refused.

"He had the gun and (my friend) Sharon pushed the gun away and said, 'Get that water pistol out of my face,'" she said.

Then the robber argued with the partygoer and said it is not a water pistol, it is a real gun.

Hagler says she could see the fear in her friend's eyes.

She felt a boldness come up in her so she stood up and shouted, "Get out of my house in the name of Jesus!"

The other women then joined in and started to shout the name "Jesus," according to a police report.

The women told police Lee stood there for a few seconds, and then ran out of the house empty handed.

Hagler said she saw a look of terror come on his face before he ran out of the house.

Donna Bowen was fearful; she was at the home with her 14-year-old daughter Julianna Register.

"How everybody reacted and all you knew God's hand and he was in there, it could have went so differently," she said.

According to the release, there was a second robbery attempt later at an ATM at 8:57 p.m. Friday.

The 62-year-old woman at the ATM told police she started yelling at the suspect, who then ran into the woods.

Investigators said Lee's description matched both suspects.

Police arrested Lee and charged him with home invasion robbery. He was booked on a $200,000 bond.

Lee was arrested at his father's house, which is only about two blocks from the home invasion, according to Strickland.

Detectives said the investigations are still ongoing.

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