When MacCaulay Caulkin was left home alone and had to fight off Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern, it was funny because there was no question the kid would outwit the bad guys in the end.
But the safety of a 13-year-old-boy who found himself at the mercy of three armed home invaders yesterday morning in Upper Darby wasn't so assured. Police said it was only thanks to the quick-thinking actions of a concerned neighbor and the quick response of police that the boy made it out alive.
And, according to authorities, it wasn't the only time the teen has faced down the robbers.
Around 11:30 a.m., the teen was alone at his house on Littlecroft Road near Marshall playing his PS3, when a noise led him to his mother's room, where he saw a man climbing in the second-floor bedroom window, said Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood.
The boy went running to grab a phone to call 911 but the intruder, Daniel Taylor, 28, was able to climb through the window and grab the teen by his arm, police said. Taylor then put a .40-caliber Glock to the back of the boy's head and told him to "chill out," Chitwood said.
Taylor forced the boy downstairs, where he made him shut off the house alarm, police said. Once the alarm was disarmed, Taylor opened the front door of the house and let in his accomplices, Terreek Irving, 25, and Imanuel Forbes, 27, Chitwood said.
Unbeknownst to the robbers, a vigilant neighbor had allegedly seen Irving and Forbes hoisting Taylor up to the second-floor window and called 911.
So, almost as soon as the three men started going through the house, it was surrounded by police, Chitwood said.
Forbes, who was holding the young boy, tried to take off with him through a rear basement door but when he saw the house was surrounded by police, he ran back inside and the teen was able to flee to officers, authorities said.
"Now, you've got three bums inside of the house," Chitwood said. "Taylor tries to go out of a front window ... before he jumps from the roof and is taken by police."
The other two men were found hiding inside of the house and the handgun allegedly used in the robbery was found in a dresser, police said.
Taylor, of Philadelphia; Irving, of Upper Darby; and Forbes of Darby were charged with robbery, terroristic threats, recklessly endangering another person and related offenses. They were remanded to the Delaware County Prison in lieu of $100,000 bail each.
In a disturbing twist to the story, the 13-year-old had recognized Forbes as one of two men who had tried to break into his house in the last week of July when he was home alone, Chitwood said. The robbers in that case had been scared off but a police report was filed about the incident.
Chitwood said the suspects have offered up several theories about why they targeted the house, including that the boy's stepfather owes one of the men $1,000 or that he may be in possession of marijuana. However, Chitwood said his officers found the house to be well-kept and there were no signs of drugs or illegal activities.
"Let me say this to you, these guys don't pick these houses out of the blue," Chitwood said. "But for these guys to come back twice in a broad-daylight home invasion is brazen."
Chitwood credited the neighbor, who wants to remain anonymous, with helping to thwart the situation.
"It was like the perfect scenario - a neighbor sees something and she calls 911," he said. "The police get there, we get the boy and the bad guys get locked up.
"Shame on them."