Jacquie Hagler never knew she could be so bold. But, she certainly knew that Jesus could.
Friday night during a jewelry party at her home in Lake City, Fla., where she was hosting 14 other women, Hagler said a masked gunman entered her home. After the robber demanded that the ladies put their purses and cellphones in a duffle bag, Hagler looked at the man and said, “Get out of my house, in the name of Jesus!”
Hagler said in an interview with Charisma News Monday that after the robber told the ladies he would shoot someone if they didn’t do what he wanted, Hagler repeated the command. The ladies then began to chant the name of Jesus and, after a moment of stunned silence, the gunman fled the scene.
The Lake City police reported revealed that Derick J. Lee of Lake City, 24, was arrested at his home—two blocks away from Hagler’s home—at 11:17 p.m. Friday and booked on suspicion of home invasion robbery.
Hagler said the women were set to play a game, and each had their purses in their laps. When Lee entered the home, most thought it was only part of the game.
“He came in on cue, so we thought this was what was supposed to happen,” Hagler said. “He had a bandanna around his face and a ski cap over his head. He put the gun to one of my friends’ faces, and I looked at the lady who was coordinating the jewelry party and wondered how this would work into the show. But, I could see the fear on her face.
“So, either she was a good actor or she really did know what was going on. She asked me if I knew him, and I said no. So, obviously, it was for real.”
Hagler said the first thing she knew to do was to invoke the name of Jesus. When the other ladies began chanting Jesus’ name, Hagler said the man “freaked out” and left the house as quickly as possible.
“As a woman of true faith, I know that God’s Word says that we’re to call on His name in times of trouble,” Hagler said. “I had done that before, but never to this degree. He’s always been there for me. I truly believe that there were angels in that room and that he was in awe of them. Praise God!”
Lake City Public Information Officer Craig Strickland, himself an ordained minister, said Hagler’s action, while not advisable, is a true “example of the Word.”
“The boldness of God in these ladies was incredible,” Strickland said. “This was a non-Christian-related activity, but all of these ladies, from what we gathered, were Christians. We don’t encourage anyone to stand up and be defiant like that, but you do what you have to do in the name of Jesus.
“This goes beyond prayer. It’s authority in the name. That’s what these ladies know.”
Strickland said standard procedure is to show six photos of suspects that look similar. Six ladies were shown the photos, and all six made the same identification. Strickland also said that, during the attempted robbery, the bandanna slipped off of Lee’s face so that the women got a clear look at him.
Lee is still in jail and is being held in lieu of $200,000 bond. That could go higher as additional charges were filed against Lee for an attempted robbery of an individual at an ATM at a local bank more than an hour after the original robbery attempt Friday night.
Hagler said Lake City is abuzz with the news of the incident, and that she has had a few phone calls from the press.
“I’m so thankful of the secular media that has been so supportive of this story,” said Hagler, a member of Christ Community Church in Lake City. “It’s on the Internet, and I can’t believe how far this story has gone. So, my prayer is that what the devil meant for bad, it’s going to be all for the good and glory of God. It’s all for His glory, and it’s one of the most spiritual experiences I’ve ever had.”