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Facebook furniture post leads to attempted home invasion in DeLand

17-year-old scared off 2 men with pellet gun

DeLAND, Fla. – A family had a garage sale on Saturday and posted an ad on Facebook that they were selling furniture.

Family members said they never thought their post which listed their address, would turn into an attempted home invasion that ended with 17-year-old boy saving his mother's life.

"If I didn't have this pellet gun, they probably wouldn't have left without a fight," said Dakota Lawrence.

Lawrence showed off the fake gun he used Sunday afternoon, on a man who deputies said beat his mother, and demanded their garage sale money after seeing a Facebook furniture post online.

"I heard my mom screaming for me, 'come downstairs and call the cops,'" said Lawrence.

Lawrence said the man threw his mother to the ground, putting her in a chokehold while she fought back.

"All I thought was quickly run upstairs and get a knife and scare them off of her," he said.

Lawrence said the man then yelled for his friend to come inside and help.

"That's when I went upstairs to get my pellet gun and I pointed it at them. They were thinking it was a real gun and I scared them out of the house," said Lawrence.

The men took off and the family immediately called 911. Deputies found the pair and arrested 23-year-old Quashaud Cooper for home invasion and battery. They also arrested 22-year-old Earl Martinez for possession of marijuana.

Lawrence said he learned a valuable lesson about posting personal information on social media and is thankful he and his mother weren't seriously hurt.

"I'm just happy that she's fine and the guys that did this were caught. Hopefully, they get what they deserve," he said.

Cooper told deputies he knew the woman and was there to collect money she owed, however, the woman told authorities she's never met the men before in her life.


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