A husband and wife opened fire on a suspect who repeatedly tried to enter their Oakdale home as he ran from police early Wednesday, authorities said.
The suspect, identified as Albert Anthony Liberini, 27, of Modesto, suffered a gunshot wound to the torso. His injury is not believed to be life-threatening.
According to the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department, the incident began about 3:30 a.m., when Modesto police found a reported stolen vehicle. When an officer tried to initiate a traffic stop, the driver of the 2001 Hyundai drove away. Police chased the car out of Modesto and into Riverbank before canceling the pursuit out of safety concerns.
Authorities later found the car off of the Oakdale Waterford Highway, just north of the Oakdale couple’s home. Officials said the car had been high-centered, which means it had run over an object too large to allow the car to continue.
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About 4 a.m., the man who lives at the home in the 5200 block of Oakdale Waterford Highway was awakened by a noise and found Liberini inside the house, the sheriff’s office said. The man and his wife armed themselves with handguns, called 911 and confronted the suspect.
The husband ordered the suspect out of his house. The suspect went out through the back door, but came back and tried to break in through the glass in the same door, officials said. The wife fired two shots at the suspect, stopping him.
Authorities said Liberini then broke into the house through a bedroom window. The husband confronted Liberini, telling him to leave. “Liberini continued to come at the husband inside the home,” the sheriff’s office said in a news release. “After several commands to stop, the husband fired one shot, striking Liberini in the torso.”
The couple held Liberini at gunpoint until deputies arrived and took him into custody. He was taken to an area hospital, where he underwent surgery. Upon his release, he will be booked on charges of burglary, robbery and violation of probation. He also will be charged with a bail enhancement for allegedly committing a crime while out on bail, officials said.
It is unlikely the Oakdale couple will face any charges, Sgt. Keith Rakoncza said, calling the matter a case of self-defense. The guns in the home had been obtained legally.
Liberini is on probation for possession of a controlled substance and was out on bail on a separate possession of controlled substance case.
In July, Modesto police arrested Liberini after finding him in possession of a pipe bomb in a city park. Officers said they found Liberini sleeping in blankets, surrounded by his belongings, as young children took part in a tennis lesson at nearby courts. He originally gave police a false name, police said. When officers searched his belongings, they discovered drug paraphernalia and an improvised explosive device made from a pill bottle wrapped in black tape.