A Three Rivers couple say their life has been turned into a nightmare after an armed home invasion by their neighbors who were described in court as habitual offenders that are a threat to the public.

Do they have to kill someone before they are dealt with? ~Nicholas

Nicholas and Piper held a small Birthday gathering at their home in Three Rivers Saturday night. The celebration went late into the night and the couple went to bed while friends gathered up their things to leave and lights were turned off. That was the last normal moment in their lives since.

As the couple's friends were outside the home, making their way to their vehicles, they were confronted by three individuals. Two men and a woman. Each individual held a weapon; a gun, a knife, and a baseball bat.

The three suspects pointed their weapons at the group attempting to leave and said they were looking for someone. They didn't find who they were looking for, so one suspect went to the home and began pounding on windows and looking for a way in. All of this is caught on a nearby home's video surveillance. One suspect found a door to the home's adjacent garage and busted it open and made entry into the home. The couple, who were in their bedroom located in the basement of the home, says that's when they started hearing loud noises and voices.

Nicholas got out of bed to see what the commotion was and was confronted by a man pointing the gun. The suspect held the gun to his head and was joined by a second suspect holding the knife close by. Nicholas said it was clear they were not looking to rob them. He says they were looking to harm the individual they were looking for and by the weapons they brought, he could only assume kill them.

Although fearing for his life, Nicholas was able to lure them outside and shut the door, locking the suspects out. Multiple calls were placed to 911 by this point. The Three Rivers Police Department is located a few miles away and could be heard making their way to the scene. The suspects hearing the sirens began scattering, some of which was captured by video surveillance. Three Rivers Police K-9 Django was brought in and successfully tracked one male suspect hiding in a nearby van who had evidence from the home invasion.

Police were then able to identify the remaining two suspects involved. Officers executed a search warrant on a nearby home and the remaining two suspects were arrested after being located with additional evidence from the home invasion. The St. Joseph County Sheriff's Department and Michigan State Police assisted.

Nicholas and Piper thought this would be the last they heard from these individuals who the couple says they had never interacted with before the home invasion. On Monday however, a Magistrate set an extremely low bond for two of the suspects, Amber Carpenter and Alexander Zuchnik. The two were quickly able to bond out. The third suspect, Nick Mastos, remained in custody at the St. Joseph County Jail. No one at the courthouse could explain why such a low bond was set for such a serious offense.

Their charges are as follows -

Amber and Nick’s charges:
- 2 count(s) of assault with a dangerous weapon (felonious assault)
- 1 count(s) of conspiracy to home invasion - 1st degree
- 1 count(s) of home invasion - 1st degree
- Habitual offender-fourth offense notice

Alex’s charges:

- 2 count(s) of assault with a dangerous weapon (felonious assault)
- 1 count(s) of conspiracy to home invasion - 1st degree
- 1 count(s) of home invasion - 1st degree
- 1 count(s) of weapons - felony firearm - pneumatic gun
- Habitual offender-fourth offense notice

Not long after, Amber and Alex made their way back to their home located just down the street from the victims. Amber immediately began yelling obscenities at the victims from down the road and Alex as well soon after. Police returned the next day to arrest Amber and Alex for violating their bond which states they could not have contact with the victims.

The two went before St. Joseph County District D Court Judge Pattison, who in a since-deleted video of the proceeding stated both Amber and Alex were habitual offenders and deemed them both threats to the public. He also stated that the accused were lucky that there wasn't a funeral related to the incident. Judge Pattison set the pairs bond at $100,000 surety. The pair were able to secure their release once again after paying a bond company a very small percentage of the $100,000 with a promise of regular payments to the bond company.

Nicholas and Piper say that countless Three Rivers residents have reached out to them throughout the week sharing their experiences with the trio, many of which were described as theft, and breaking and entering but also included assaults. Some accuse the suspects of other area thefts and home invasions.

The couple has had to purchase and install a home security system and say they do not feel safe in their own home knowing that two of the suspects are just mere feet down the road. Nicholas and Piper have sought help with the emotional wounds they sustained from Psychologist who has diagnosed the pair with Acute Traumatic Stress Disorder directly caused by the armed home invasion. They say now have to wait for this to play out in court with the Preliminary Examination set for August 4. Nicholas and Piper say they are living in fear every day. They worry that the next time the suspects strike it will end with someone dead.

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