A Union City mother of two is in critical condition tonight after armed men forced their way into her home on Hanford Street last night.
The Rarama family says three gunmen forced the mother, her two children and her brother into the living room as they searched for cash and goods.
23-year old Daniel Rarama, Jr. was upstairs in the house on Hanford Street when he says he saw a gun pointing straight into his face and he was ordered downstairs. He and his 22-year old sister, Marjorie Rarama, say two of the men were masked, while one was not. As one of the masked men stood guard keeping the family hostage, Marjorie says he was acting bizarre as he began “dancing, just swaying, talking to himself, and singing, maybe a song.”
The Raramas say the other two men went upstairs and eventually found a safe. They demanded to know the code, but Daniel says, “We all didn’t know. From there, I thought, ‘He’s going to shoot us all.’”
The 23-year old tried to fight one of the men, but says he was pistol-whipped four to five times before the three ran out. At least one of them shot blindly back at the family. The 62-year old mother was struck once in the chest.
This is the second violent home invasion robbery in Union City in 48 hours.
Union City police say several men also assaulted a man and forced their way into his home on 13th Street early Sunday morning. It happened in the Decoto district of town, about five miles away.
Police Commander Ben Horner says the two don’t appear to be related and seem random , but investigators have to dig into some of the evidence left behind at both locations.
“In our experience, a number of home invasion robberies are drug-related. Certainly there’s no indication on this one or the 13th street one, that that’s the case," Horner said.
These are the third and fourth home invasion robberies so far this year in Union City. That’s compared to three in all of last year, just two in 2010, and five in 2009.
Investigators add that the suspects in the Hanford home invasion may have left behind some DNA in the kitchen.
The Rarama family admits it’s scared. As for the 62-year old victim’s husband, Daniel Rarama, Sr., who arrived home after work to find police at his door, it’s not anger that he’s feeling – it’s empathy.
“People are hungry and they want to feed their family, and this is probably the only means they know how.”