Burke County man holds hostage, sexually assaults ex-girlfriend

By: Lynnsey Gardner
By: Lynnsey Gardner

October 13, 2006

A Burke County man is back in jail tonight, after a six hour hostage standoff in Midville.

Deputies say he held an ex-girlfriend hostage and raped her.

A restraining order and jail time didn't keep one girl from becoming a victim again.

The 18-year-old victim was at her mother's Midville home babysitting her three younger sisters when authorities say her ex-boyfriend, Ryan Pernack, busted through the back door, held her hostage for six hours, and sexually assaulted her.

The victim's mother, Jennifer Allen, is haunted by what she says happened to her daughter at their home Wednesday night.

"I don't have no choice but to think about it," she says. "Today, I can just picture it in my mind...of her coming around the house and saying he raped her. I can still picture that."

Allen was working a second job when she got a phone call shortly after 10 o'clock saying her daughter's ex-boyfriend, Ryan Pernack, had busted through the back door--and he had a knife.

Two of the girls ran next door for help, but four-year-old Tahina was asleep in the back. Cops moved in, and a standoff began. Four hours later, Pernack let Tahina go...leaving him alone with his ex-girlfriend.

"I said, 'You couldn't fight him?'" Allen recalled. "She was like, 'He had a knife up to my throat and if I did anything he was going to kill me.'"

"About every five minutes he kept telling us the same story over and over and over and we had figured the longer it went on he was really going to hurt the girl or himself or both," said Burke County Sheriff's investigator Frankie Parker.

So the Richmond County SWAT was called in.

"They had him at the window talking to him, and they kept making him keep his hands up for a technique I think," Allen said.

While Pernack was at the window, SWAT went into the house.

When they busted in...Ryan Pernack was no longer holding his weapon, which allowed them to use less than lethal force. They took a standard issue shotgun, but instead of real bullets, it was filled with bean bag bullets.

When fired at close range, each bean bag feels like a hit from a baseball bat.

Within seconds the six hour standoff was over...but for Allen's daughter, the memory will last a lifetime.

"You can always forgive someone, but you'll never forget it, and that always is going to stay in the back of her head...what happened to her."

The 18-year-old victim is no longer at the home. She is now living with relatives in Swainsboro.

Pernack is in the Burke County Jail.


Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1212 Augusta, GA 30903 Main Telephone: (803) 278-1212 Newsroom: (803) 278-3111 Fax: (803) 442-4561
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