The privacy of our homes is something that most of us treasure. So, imagine having it violated. That’s what happened to the Kennedys of North Taylor Avenue on the North Side of Pittsburgh.
Jerome Kennedy knew something wasn’t right when he heard noises above his bedroom and even saw a flashlight peering between the slats of the ceiling vent. Sharing the bedroom with his wife and baby girl Reagan, Jerome was acutely aware that safety was paramount.
— KDKA (@KDKA) August 2, 2017
In July of 2017, the conscientious dad installed a surveillance camera, which quickly provided some illuminating but alarming footage. A peeping tom, believed to be the Kennedys’ next-door neighbor Robert Havrilla, 69, was caught sneaking into the attic and peering into the family’s bedroom through the ceiling vent.
Havrilla owned the house next door, which was being renovated. “He’s very reclusive,” Ashley Kennedy told Inside Edition. “He keeps to himself.”
The condemning footage shows Havrilla entering the attic with a drill and a light. “It shows him removing a false wall that he engineered,” Jerome told KDKA, “climbing onto my ceiling, above my baby’s crib, and he lies on some planks that he put there, in my ceiling.”
Havrilla held his post for approximately half an hour before returning to his own property.
Having only noticed Havrilla’s presence after the birth of his baby girl, Jerome told KDKA’s Amy Wadas: “The only thing I can assume is he’s watching my baby, my wife, or myself.” The dad additionally confirmed that he had never given Havrilla permission to enter their attic.
“He was actually warned two days earlier to stay out of there,” Jerome added.
As if peeping through the ceiling vent wasn’t bad enough, Jerome also noticed a mysterious smattering of round drill holes in a common brick wall that he shared with his neighbor. Denying nefarious activity, Havrilla simply said he was doing construction.
In fact, Havrilla denied all allegations at the court hearing; he would be unable to access his next-door neighbor’s attic space without a ladder, he said. The spine-chilling surveillance camera footage, however, left almost everybody except the 69-year-old’s defense attorney incredulous.
“I think it will come out soon that he did not have a malicious intent at all,” Havrilla’s attorney Anthony Jackson said, but the Kennedys felt disheartened. “For all these years, we have no idea what’s been going on inside our own home,” Ashley shared. “To feel violated in this way that somebody can come in and disrupt the sanctity of my home,” her husband added, “it’s indescribable.”
“In my humble opinion,” the Kennedys’ attorney Jack Goodrich chimed in, “he was waiting for the creep show.” Jerome Kennedy was upfront about his preference for a hefty sentence for Havrilla. “I think that he should go away for a long, long time,” he said. Ashley’s ambitions were modest; she simply wished to sleep soundly at night.
— CBS News 8 (@CBS8) August 11, 2017
According to WXPI, Havrilla was tried in court for multiple charges and was found guilty of criminal trespassing. With any luck, the 69-year-old’s sentence has restored the Kennedys’ sense of safety in their own house and will keep their baby girl safe as she grows up in the family home.