HARRISON, OH (FOX19) - Only on FOX 19 NOW did the victims of a violent Harrison home invasion are speaking out.
The family says the community has rallied sending the prosecutor hundreds of letters asking that the two teen suspects be tried as adults.
"Every time you walk out of the bedroom, that is what you see. I see David on the floor with this very large man on top of him," said Ruth Niehaus.
The Niehaus' say they will never look at their kitchen door the same where two teenagers broke in Sunday morning wearing ski masks and all black. They held down David and demanded all the valuables while his wife Ruth hide in a bathroom to call 911.
"I think he should have to listen to her 911 call every day for the rest of his life and picture his mother or his grandmother with their feet against that door not knowing if at any second they are going to come in and kill her," said David.
The two 16-year-old Harrison High School students are facing up to a year in juvenile detention but because it's their first offense, prosecutors are telling the Niehaus family the teens will probably get probation. It is a punishment the victims say doesn't come close to fitting the crime.
"No, this is not one poor choice. This is premeditated and awful. Just awful," said Ruth.
The Niehaus' say they haven't slept since the break-in and are now considering putting their home up for sale. It's a constant reminder they say of a lazy Sunday morning they will never forget.
"I'm not sure we can stay. We've been here 40 years and we love Harrison but I can see the high school from here and I'm terrified," said Ruth.
Both juveniles are being held until their next court date Nov. 6. So far, they are denying the charges and are asking for a trial. The Niehaus family fears if these teens are released their crime will seem like a badge of honor for other teens and create more violence in their community.
The daughter of the Niehaus family sent the following letter to the Harrison community:
"My name is Shawn Niehaus Burt.
I am a 1993 Harrison High School graduate. I grew up in Harrison and it is a wonderful community and myself and my family are proud to be a part of Harrison!
After leaving my parents home, the two men were apprehended by Harrison police. As it turns out, both men were 16 years old and students at Harrison High School. This was a shock to my parents, the way these guys acted and the brutal force they used had nothing juvenile about it. Because they are "juveniles" they are being tried in juvenile court.
This was a heinous crime. My parents are frightened. They are afraid to live in their home. They are afraid of the community they have called home for over 40 years. Their names, photos, the 911 call and details about their personal lives have been made very public. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about these two men because they are "juveniles." These men and their families are claiming they are "good kids" and deserve to be given a light sentence for their crime.
As Harrison residents, as parents, as friends of the Niehaus family we need to take a stand about this kind of violence in our community! Please join us in writing the juvenile prosecutors on this case to get justice for David and Ruth Niehaus and the residents of Harrison.
There are several folks in the juvenile prosecutors office you can write to, please share your outrage over this incident and help keep Harrison safe:
General email for Juvenile Magistrates:
Chief Prosecutor for Juvenile Division:
Administrative Judge for Juvenile Division:
Please send your letters and concerns as soon as possible! Please remember my parents are the VICTIMS here—not these men!
THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP.
Shawn M. Burt
(Dave and Ruth Niehaus' daughter)"