Woman's Dramatic Roof Escape Caught on Camera
Homeless man, Christian Hicks, 29, charged with burlgary
By Shelley Hazen,  Newser User
Posted Sep 25, 2014 12:12 PM CDT
A YouTube screenshot; these images are being widely credited to https://twitter.com/venice311   (Hezakya Starr)

(Newser) – As Melora Rivera hid on her roof, half-naked, from an intruder Wednesday morning, neighbors snapped pictures and posted them to Twitter. The California woman had fled from a second-story window when a homeless man broke into her house as she slept, CBS2 reports. "The drop is, I would guess, more than 20 feet. So there was no safely jumping off the roof," she tells the station. “Once I saw him in the house, I knew that we both couldn’t be there. I knew that I didn’t want to have a confrontation with him of any sort, you know, not knowing what his intention was," she says. Luckily she'd grabbed her phone and was able to call 911. The man followed Rivera onto the roof, apparently in pursuit.

Police and the fire department helped rescue Rivera only minutes later. Neighbors recognized the alleged intruder, a homeless man named Christian Hicks, 29, who was briefly detained by police for allegedly wandering in a neighbor's yard the same morning. Now, he faces a burglary charge. “I think it’s very obvious for most of us who live around here, when someone seems to be suffering from a mental illness. And to continue to let these people walk around without offering them assistance, to protect them and us—that, I think, is the heart of the problem," Rivera says. KTLA reports that the Venice woman is an actress who appeared in the Whitney Houston/Jordin Sparks movie Sparkle. (This home intruder ended up being a snake.)