Cape man describes run-in with gunman, fleeing with baby daughter in his arms

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The safety of his two daughters raced through Jamala Garmon's mind as a burglar stuck a gun in his face on Sunday night.

Around 10 p.m, Garmon's two pit bulls began wildly barking from the back yard of his residence at 1126 S. Ellis St., he said. Garmon went to the back door to investigate as his girlfriend, Amanda M. Sparks, and their 1-year-old daughter sat on the living -room couch. Their 7-month-old daughter slept in a room down the hall.

As he returned to the living room, "two dudes kicked my [front] door in," he said. Out of instinct, Garmon grabbed his daughter from next to the door.

The burglars wore hooded sweat shirts, towels or bandanas over their faces and gloves. The first man, wearing gray, aimed a handgun at Garmon's head and demanded money. The second man wore blue, had no weapon and stood silently.

"The one standing near the door seemed like he was scared or something, like he didn't want to do it," he said.

Garmon repeatedly insisted they had no money. Sparks dodged past the men and out the front door to cross the street.

While the men were distracted, Garmon moved toward the door. They scuffled with Garmon and struck him on the head with the gun.

"After they hit me, I stumbled onto the front porch with my daughter in my arms," he said. "I heard them pull the trigger and it misfired. It didn't go off."

The man with the gun swung again at him, causing the gun to fly out of his hands. While they searched for the gun, Garmon hopped off the porch and ran down the street with the burglars chasing after him.

Meanwhile, Sparks went back into the house and retrieved their still-sleeping daughter.

About two blocks away, Garmon ran up to a stranger's house and called the police. He saw one of the burglars run north up the alleyway, he said.

Garmon received a cut on his head and was treated at Saint Francis Medical Center. Their 1-year-old received no injuries and did not cry once, he said, though she was a little shaken.

The family is staying at Garmon's father's until they can arrange for another place to live, Garmon said. They moved into the small brick home less than one month ago.

No suspects have been taken into custody, said police Sgt. Barry Hovis. The two men were described as in their late teens to early 20s. The man in gray is between 5-feet, 11-inches and 6-feet, 1-inch tall. He is considered armed and dangerous. The man in blue is between 5-feet-8-inches and 5-feet-10-inches tall.

The victims said they did not recognize the suspects, Garmon said.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Cape Girardeau Police Department at 335-6611 or CrimeStoppers at 332-0500.

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