Thomas Charles Miller, a 32-year-old man with a string of criminal convictions, including burglary, receiving stolen property, domestic battery and possession of marijuana, met his match when he made illegal entry into Rhonda Coleman’s house in the 800 block of North Mulberry Street about 3:00 a.m. on Wednesday, January 2.
Miller soon found himself at the wrong end of a gun.
"I think everybody should have a gun," Rhonda Coleman said, and that’s exactly the reason she has kept two firearms in her bedroom, a shotgun and a BB gun air rifle, she told IndyChannel.com. ,
When she needed to defend herself and her home, Ms. Coleman did not hesitate to grab a firearm. "I realized I had a shotgun back here, but instead of the shotgun, I grabbed the BB gun,” she said.
She also admitted she doesn’t know how to use either of them. "I never really thought I'd have to use it," Coleman said about the weapons. Luckily for Ms. Coleman, Miller isn’t a gun expert either. He didn’t realize she was brandishing a “realistic BB gun,” as she described it.
The Muncie resident says she was asleep on her couch when she was awakened by a “crashing sound about 3:00 a.m..” She told the Muncie Press that she realized someone was crouching by her TV, “working on the Xbox."
At first she thought it was her son, who lives next door, but as she became more awake, she asked who was there. She then inquired if it was her son and realized from the voice that responded, “yes,” that there was a stranger in the room.
She said the intruder then moved behind her Christmas tree, where she couldn’t see him. “He didn't leave. He stayed where he was," Coleman said.
"I was angry. There was a stranger in my home, without my permission, going through my things and I was angry and I took control," she told (channel). She said that’s when she grabbed the BB gun and pointed it at Miller.
"He immediately saw it, and…was taken aback a little bit, shoulders raised," and the intruder said, “You have a gun.” And I responded, “Yeah, I have a gun,'" she said.
Coleman said she grabbed Miller by the collar and took him outside at gunpoint, yelling for her son who lives next door to call 911. She pushed him to her son’s door as he struggled to get away, she told told ABC-RTV6 News.
"If you don't the know difference, then I've got a gun and I'm in control now," Ms. Coleman told WTHR News in a televised interview.
"Now that this has happened, I'm definitely going to be learning how to fire a firearm," said Ms. Coleman.
Police Investigators said they found two bags of stolen items outside Ms. Coleman’s home, and that Miller was carrying her iPod, her necklace and her keys.
Coleman told the IndyChannel.com that when she returned from work that night, she realized one of her knives was on a table right by the Christmas tree Miller stood behind.
"Obviously, God was smiling on us that day, and he saw us through," she said.
Miller’s reported convictions started in 2007, but as recently as May 2012 he was accused of breaking into a house and vehicles near the Ball State University campus and then using stolen credit cards to make purchases. He pleaded guilty to a related count of fraud in September, the Muncie Star Press reported.
Thomas Charles Miller, 32, of Muncie, was arrested on a preliminary charge of burglary and is currently residing at the Delaware County Jail, according to ABC-RTV6.
Rhonda Coleman said she'll never be without a gun again because, if there's a next time, the other person could have a gun.
“If he's got a gun, I want a gun. I want a fair and fighting chance," she said.