Homeowners say they recognized intruder

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News 12 at 6 o'clock, December 21, 2007

EDGEFIELD, S.C. - Cynthia Mathis and Ronnie Rouse enjoy watching television before bed. They'd just turned the TV off and laid down for the night when they heard someone knocking on the door.

Exhausted, they didn't answer and surprisingly, the people outside at the door pushed their way in.

"They ran around the corner," explained Rouse, "three young men with guns and masks."

Cynthia and Ronnie say the crooks were demanding money and threatening to shoot them.

"They were steady holding the gun at my friend girl saying, 'Shut up before I kill you," said Rouse.

Rouse was hit in the head multiple times leaving gashes on the right side of his head.

"I just wrestled with this man. My hand got loose...grabbed him in his right eye through the mask and I yanked," said Rouse, "Evidently, I must have made a giant move to him because the mask came off his head and he had his head down."

That's when Mathis says she recognized one of the burglars.

"I knew this figure. I knew these little eyes," said Mathis, "But when the ski mask came off and he looked at me--I said, 'Julius...Julius what are you doing'?

21-year old Julius Griffen was later arrested in connection with the crime. Mathis says he was like a son to her and grew up with her daughter.

"It's like locking your child up. But if your child is trying to take your life...I don't know," said Rouse.

"All he had to do was knock on the door and say,'Bug, this is Julius. Can I talk to you?," added Rouse.

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