A young Missouri couple was fast asleep in their home around 3 a.m. when they were suddenly woken up by the sound of an intruder in their home. The wife, Vanessa Williams, decided to go see what was happening, and that’s when she discovered 26-year-old Joseph Stein stumbling through their home seemingly unaware of what he was doing.
“He just walked through the hallway,” described Williams to KY3 News. “My son's bedroom was right on the left, he passed it and, as he flipped on my daughter's light, I came around the corner of the door, came face to face with him and I said, 'What are you doing in here?'”
"My husband jumped out of bed and was hitting the guy and he knocked him out in the first punch," continued Williams. “Typically we do have a firearm by the bedside but since gun season finished up it wasn't there so luckily for the gentleman who broke in that saved his life.”
Police were called to the home and once they arrived, the immediately arrested Stein.
“Once the police arrived, the suspect was arrested,” explained Lebanon Police Detective Tim Early. “He was later charged through the Laclede County prosecutor's office and is currently in the Laclede County Jail.”
Police say it appears that Stein was drunk and thought he was in his own home. Williams says that moving forward, her family will make sure their home is more secure.
"I don't feel unsafe in my home and I'm not going to let some creep make me feel that way,” said Williams, “but I am going to be more attentive to making sure doors are locked when we go to bed or when we're going to be away.”
Detective Early says that although state laws protect people who use a firearm to stop intruders in their home, it may have been a much worse situation if this family had done so.
"There are laws out there that would protect you and protect your property but I also think that sometimes there's some thin lines that you probably need to watch yourself," said Early.
Stein walked away with a few cuts and cruises, but he is facing a second-degree trespassing charge.