A Penticton couple is still in shock following a harrowing and violent home invasion earlier this week.
Michael Paseska and Sarah Edwards say they no longer feel safe in their house after awaking on Wednesday to a masked man standing over their bed with a gun pointed at them.
“He was yelling at me, ‘where’s the money, where’s the money?’” Paseska told Global News on Friday from his home on Winnipeg Street. “’Where’s the girl’s stuff?’”
In response, Paseska said “I don’t know what stuff you want, take anything you want. Just don’t kill me.
“And that moment, I started standing up out of the bed and he took a shot. I thought he hit me in the head. (Sarah) was screaming, so I started pushing her off the bed.”
Edwards, who recently found out she’s pregnant, said she moved to the closet during the initial incident, with Paseska screaming “she’s pregnant, don’t kill her.”
Their home, according to Paseska, was looted by several other men in red bandanas while the man fired several shots inside the home and shouted out orders.
According to Paseska, the armed man was quite tall, about six-foot-eight, but that he recognized him. He believes the men were in his home in retaliation for evicting a tenant who hadn’t paid rent.
“(The man’s) yelling to me ‘where’s the money?’ and yelling to the other guys in the room ‘grab a gag, we’re going to gag and kill them.’ So then I started screaming for help,” said Paseska, who has upstairs neighbours.
“And he said ‘get a gag!’ And then I screamed ‘help’ as loud as I could.”
When he was asked for money again, Paseska said he spotted his wallet, which contained his tenants’ rent money, but that the man did not notice it.
“He then came onto the bed with me and smashed me in the back of the head with the gun, and the gun went off at the same time,” said Paseska. “And that shot a bullet through my sauna.”
Paseska said he then felt blood dripping down, and, while naked, said “go ahead and kill me then. He didn’t. He just kept holding the gun, saying ‘lay down.’
“So at that moment, I stood off the bed and stood on top of my wallet. He then started yelling ‘get down on the floor, I’m going to kill you.’ So I started to go down on the floor, and then I just reached down and grabbed my wallet.”
At that point, Paseska said he was beside a set of sliding doors to the outside. So he quickly flipped the lock and jumped outside, still naked, where he began yelling “I’m going to kill you” to the man.
The man, said Paseska, then left the bedroom and exited the house.
“I just didn’t care at that moment,” said Paseska. “So I just ran out to the front yard, naked and covered in blood, and I seen them across the street getting into two vehicles.”
Paseska said he ran up to the vehicle and punched the window, breaking his hand.
“As I punched the window, they sped off in two different directions,” he said. “And then I looked around and seen all the neighbours looking at me, covered in blood, naked, so I ran back to the house and found (Sarah) on the phone with the police.”
Edwards added, “Before we knew it, (police) were there, asking us to come out with our hands up, and all the guns pointed at us again.”
Not long after the incident, police surrounded a townhome on Maple Street, resulting in a standoff. Eventually, several individuals were arrested, with two of them facing charges.
Penticton RCMP say Josef Bretislav Pavlik, 36, and Jesse Eldon Harry Mason, 32, are both in custody following the standoff.
Mason and Pavlik are both charged with break-and-enter to commit an offence, while Pavlik is also facing charges of robbery with a restricted firearm, assault with a weapon and uttering threats.
Though the two suspects are currently in custody, the Penticton couple says they still feel threatened.
“I don’t go in public without looking behind my shoulder,” said Edwards.
“Our life was almost taken,” said Paseska. “And it still could be at any moment. Right here, right now.”
Edwards added, “And there are still people at large right now who were part of it. And we’re just sitting here alone. Anything could happen at any moment right now.”
Paseska agreed. “This is not the easiest situation to be in.”