A homeless man faces a burglary of a habitation charge after he tried to break into a Buda home July 28, while the homeowner was present.
Chad Jason Brown, 42, of Dilley, was booked into the Hays County Jail July 29 on the charge, which is a second-degree felony.
While the incident was frightening for Buda resident and paraplegic Heather Watkins, she was ultimately relieved she didn’t have to use her .38 caliber handgun for protection.
“All that went through my mind (at the time) was to protect myself,” Watkins said.
According to a Hays County Sheriff’s Office arrest affidavit, deputies were dispatched to the 600 block of Pine Siskin Drive regarding a criminal trespass call.
Watkins made the call after she heard someone walking around on her back porch around 11:30 p.m. July 28. At the time, Watkins said she had settled herself into bed roughly 15 minutes earlier.
While she couldn’t tell what the noise was, she knew something was amiss. She muted her television to hear what was going on.
At around 11:45 p.m., Watkins said the suspect began to hit the glass on her backdoor. Watkins informed dispatchers, who then relayed information to deputies who were en-route, the suspect had broken the glass of the back door.
“He was banging like he had a baseball bat, at least to me,” Watkins said.
Watkins said she began to freak out and got her handgun, which was “locked and loaded.” She didn’t want to get up from her bed, and was also informed by authorities to stay where she was.
Staying in bed offered the best line of sight in the event the suspect entered the home, Watkins said.
“Either way, I was going to shoot him if he was going to come in,” Watkins said.
Upon arriving at the house, deputies located a man, later identified as Brown, in the “screened-in portion” at the rear of the home.
Authorities, who placed Brown into custody, noticed the screen adjacent to the back door had been ripped open and offered access to the screened in, locked patio area. According to the affidavit, Brown allegedly used a water hose wand to break into the home.
According to the affidavit, Brown alleged he was breaking into what he thought was a vacant home, in which the owner was deceased, in order to steal alcohol.
The experience was unnerving for Watkins, who said she lives in a relatively quiet community. She now leaves the lights on the back of her porch for safety.
“I felt good knowing I could protect myself if I had to,” Watkins said.