Victims, cookware subdue Delaware robbery suspect

In a showdown between sawed-off shotgun and frying pan, the frying pan was the surprise victor.

As a result, 24-year-old Nathan Boykin of Wilmington was detained, and eventually arrested, following an alleged home invasion robbery in New Castle over the weekend.

New Castle County detectives say Boykin broke into an apartment in the Hampton Walk Apartment complex on Carvel Avenue early Saturday morning, armed with a sawed-off shotgun and wearing a ski mask.

According to police, the suspect pushed the air conditioner unit into the victim’s bedroom to gain entry into the apartment. The 32-year-old male victim woke up to find the suspect pointing the gun at him and demanding money as the suspect was standing outside the window to his bedroom.   Moments later, the suspect climbed through the window and a struggle ensued.

That’s when the victim’s roommates, a 57-year-old male and a 25-year-old female, who were asleep in an adjacent bedroom, attempted to help their friend.

During the altercation, the suspect struck the male victim in the head with the shotgun causing a laceration to his forehead and right eye.

But the female victim retaliated with a frying pan, striking Boykin over the head several times before she was able to take away his shotgun.

New Castle County police spokesman Cpl. John Weglarz said the victims did a “great job” in a life-threatening situation.

“The suspect went in there with a shotgun and tried to rob them,” he said. “I mean the victims did what the victims had to do.”

The victims were able to detain the suspect until police arrived. The victims and suspect did receive minor injuries during the struggle.

Since every situation is different, Weglarz says there is no blueprint on how to respond as a victim in an attempted robbery. But this time the frying pan worked.

“Obviously you don’t want to put yourself in harm’s way, but in this case they were already in harm’s way,” Weglarz said. “So they did what they needed to do to get a hold of the suspect.”

Boykin, a convicted felon, has been charged with burglary, felony assault and other offenses.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.