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Home invader rapes daughter and is captured by father

Originally ran here as:
"Sugarloaf victim shows restraint"
by Pam Regensberg, Staff Writer
The Daily Camera
January 01, 2002

BOULDER, COLORADO -- Nathan Victor Melikidse - accused of sexually assaulting a young woman Sunday morning after tying up her parents in their Sugarloaf Road home - could grow old in prison if convicted.

But he could thank the woman's father for sparing his life.

Boulder County Sheriff's deputies moved in and arrested Melikidse at 7:30 a.m. Sunday, about an hour after the father talked the intruder into untying him so he could get some water. Officers said the man then called 911 from his mountain home and whispered that an intruder was holding his family at gunpoint.

As two women ran from the home, deputies entered to find Melikidse with his hands in the air and the homeowner focusing a loaded shotgun on him.

"He showed remarkable restraint," Sheriff George Epp said. "He used his wits in getting the 911 call and getting the necessary information to the dispatcher."

A victims' advocate who comforted the family afterward said the homeowner is a "peaceable man."

"It's hard to believe this random act," advocate Anne Rogers said. "It's like something you see on TV, but it doesn't happen in your home."

Colorado's "make my day law" allows the justified use of deadly force to protect a home or person in that house. But officers said when confronted with a shotgun, Melikidse surrendered.

Melikidse and his friend, Robert John Foltin, 33, of Avon Lake, Ohio, remained in the Boulder County Jail on Monday. They face felony charges for their alleged involvement in a two- to three-day crime spree that involved at least three burglaries in the area.

Foltin faces possible charges of burglary and conspiracy. Officers found him passed out in a stolen car that was parked near the Sugarloaf Road home. He did not enter the home, deputies said.

Melikidse faces 11 felony charges, including kidnapping, sexual assault and burglary.

In asking for a high bond Monday afternoon, prosecutor John Pickering said, "This is an extraordinarily dangerous, violent, aggravated crime. He has everything to gain and nothing to lose by running."

Boulder County Judge Thomas J. B. Reed set Melikidse's bail at $500,000 and Foltin's at $75,000.

According to arrest records, the male homeowner told officers that he woke about 5:30 a.m. to someone knocking on the door. When he opened the door, a man with a gun forced him back into the house and told him to call out to his wife.

The suspect then forced the couple to bind themselves to chairs with packing tape. Deputies said Melikidse then yanked a bedroom telephone and hid a cordless phone in a stack of newspapers. Officers said Melikidse searched the house and found the daughter in another bedroom, where he allegedly attacked her, records stated. He then gathered some of the family's valuables to steal, sheriff's Sgt. Dan Barber has said.

Barber said the gun Melikidse allegedly used in the home invasion came from a house burglarized in Fourmile Canyon. In that case, a 9 mm Ruger handgun and a pair of rubber boots were stolen. Officers said Melikidse was wearing the stolen boots when he was arrested.

On Monday, deputies confirmed that a toolbox found in the stolen car was taken from another home.

Victor Melikidse, who identified himself as Nathan Melikidse's father, said his son lacked direction and traveled around. He said he believes his son could only have committed the crime if he was high on drugs or alcohol.

Officers said they smelled alcohol on the suspect's breath.

"It's sad," said the Brownsville, Calif., resident. "He's just wrecked his life. Maybe prison is the best thing for him. He doesn't know how to handle freedom when he has it.

"I just broke to pieces when I heard."

Camera Staff Writer Greg Avery contributed to this report. Contact Pam Regensberg at (303) 473-1329.


Boulder man grabs gun from invader in his home

Originally ran here as:
"Boulder man grabs gun from invader in his home"
by Kevin Vaughan, Staff Writer
Rocky Mountain News
December 31, 2001

BOULDER, COLORADO -- A gunman forced his way into a Sugarloaf Road home early Sunday, terrorizing a family before one of his hostages grabbed his pistol and turned the tables on him.

Investigators suspect the gunman had been drinking before forcing his way into the home, which was occupied by a man, his wife and their grown daughter.

The gunman tied up the couple with strapping tape, ripped phones from the wall and sexually assaulted one of the women.

Several hours later, the husband regained control of the home.

"The suspect set the gun down and he grabbed it," said Boulder County Sheriff George Epp.

Sheriff's officials identified the gunman as Nathan Melikidse, 25, of California. He was jailed without bond on suspicion of sexual assault and burglary in the random attack.

Another man arrested outside the home in a stolen car, identified as Robert Foltin, 33, was being held on $20,000 bond, suspected of being an accessory to the crime.

The trouble started about 5:30 a.m., when a man banged on the door of the home in the 9800 block of Sugarloaf Road.

He forced his way inside.

About 6:30 a.m., the husband was able to break free from the strapping tape and call 911 on his cellular phone.

When sheriff's deputies arrived at the home, they knocked on the door but got no answer.

Later, deputies made a second attempt to make contact with someone in the home. At that point, the husband grabbed the gunman's Ruger 9mm pistol and took control, and his wife and daughter ran from the home.

Deputies then arrested Melikidse.

They suspect that Melikidse stole a car in California and that he and Foltin traveled to Colorado together. Melikidse allegedly stole the pistol earlier in the night in a burglary on Four Mile Road, and he also allegedly stole mail from mailboxes in the area.


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Resistance to sudden violence, for the preservation not only of my person, my limbs, and life, but of my property, is an indisputable right of nature which I have never surrendered to the public by the compact of society, and which perhaps, I could not surrender if I would. JOHN ADAMS

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