‘Avengers assemble’: Neighbors rescue pregnant woman during home invasion in Chicago

CHICAGO — Several neighbors helped stop a home invasion on the Northwest Side after a mother screamed.

At around 11:20 p.m. on Wednesday, Chicago police responded to the 6600 block of North Oliphant Avenue on the report of a home invasion.

Amanda Johnson, who is eight months pregnant, was at home with her 6-year-old and 4-year-old that night. Everyone was in bed and her husband Colin was out of town.

She was startled out of sleep after police said Zachary Bruns, 34, of Park Ridge, took a landscaping rock and smashed part of their front door.

“I kind of popped up and heard another loud noise. It sounded like a very loud balloon popping,” Johnson said.

Johnson rushed down the stairs to fend him off.

“I sort of reacted to push him away from the door, to keep him from opening the lock, he was trying to reach the deadbolt,” said Johnson. “He unlocked the deadbolt. He pushed the door toward me — and me out of the way, I have lots of bruises and bumps now, feeling those.”

Johnson was forced outside and did not have her cell phone — so she resorted to her voice.

“Pacing because my children are upstairs sleeping, so I started screaming next level. Kind of like a siren,” she said.

Neighbors heard the commotion and many came to help.

“It was sort of like Avengers assemble,” Johnson said. “All of a sudden I looked up and it was people coming from all areas.”

A number of neighbors, including an off-duty police officer, detained Bruns until CPD arrived and arrested him.

On Friday, Bruns was denied bail and has five prior felony convictions for residential burglaries.

He was charged with home invasion and criminal damage to a property. Bruns’ attorney said he suffers from paranoid schizophrenia.

No one was injured and a retired firefighter from across the street helped secure their front door until a new one arrives.

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