Stephen Ellison

Mountain View Family Frightened in Violent Attempted Home Invasion

Members of a Mountain View family were recovering Tuesday hours after five people tried to violently break into their home. It was all part of a plot by their landlord to scare them into moving out, according to Mountain View police.

Around 8 p.m. Monday, a rental dispute turned violent, with people pounding on and kicking the front door of a home in the 2000 block of Rock Street, police said. At the same time, the power suddenly went out.

Heather Navarro

"When they arrived there, one individual turned off the electricity to the home to scare the family," police spokeswoman Katie Nelson said. "Then one individual used a knife to break through the front door."

Police arrested five people, including the landlord, Reenu Saini, 50, of Sunnyvale, on suspicion of breaking and entering and assault with a deadly weapon. The others arrested were Steven Carling, 53; Lori Walston, 49; Brian Ross, 49; and Debra McNeil, 52. All four are San Jose residents.

A neighbor said he heard it happen.

"I was cooking dinner, and I heard the commotion," neighbor David Murphy said. "I heard banging. I said knock that off."

Police confirmed the incident was over a rental dispute.

"Unfortunately, rather than going through legal channels to resolve this peacefully with the family, the landlord allegedly decided to call a friend, who brought in some other individuals, to go to the home that evening to physically and forcibly remove the family from the home," Nelson said.

The family, a married couple with three children, did not want to be identified since they were just attacked. They say they just moved in and thought they had an agreement for a set price. But the property manager started harassing them, and then the attack happened.

The family said a dog also was involved in the attack, and police confirmed the suspects had a dog with them.

The family said they’re very upset and will try to find a new place to live.

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