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14-Year-Old Girl With Knife Confronts Career Criminal In Middleboro Home, Helps Police Catch Him

MIDDLEBORO (CBS) – A 14-year-old girl armed with a knife helped police catch a career criminal who they say broke into her home in Middleboro Friday morning.

Avery Cormier was sleeping inside her house on Spruce Street when she was woken up to the sound of an intruder. She saw him stealing things, grabbed a knife and confronted him. The man, later identified as 58-year-old Joseph Ridge of Bourne, dropped the items he was allegedly stealing and ran outside. But the girl took video of him getting away.

"I got him out of the house. I scared him. I took a video of his truck leaving so I have his license plate number," the teen said in the chilling 911 call released by police.

Officers used that information to track Ridge down while driving over the Bourne Bridge and arrest him.

"I really didn't realize that she had it in her to stay so calm under fire," Avery's mom Dianne Tautkus said. "Grabbed two kitchen steak knives and she went back and stood outside the door and started screaming at him 'Get out of my house. Get out of my house. You don't belong here.'"

Police said Ridge was already out on bail for an unrelated incident and has a record dating back to 1980, with more than 140 arraignments and a history of violence.

"A person who makes a decision to break into a home at 7:20 in the morning and terrorize a 14-year-old girl should not be out of jail," Middleboro Police Chief Joseph Perkins told reporters, adding that the break-in appeared to be random.

Perkins said the Avery is an honor roll student at Middleboro High School and was home for the day because it's Good Friday. She was not hurt.

Ridge is charged with aggravated breaking and entering, trespassing, attempted larceny and disorderly conduct. He will be arraigned Friday afternoon in Wareham District Court.

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