Crying teenaged girl used as lure for violent home invasion

A desperate cry for help makes a husband and wife the targets of a violent home invasion.

The attack happened this morning on T Street in Northwest.

And this new case has led to a safety alert for anyone in our region tonight.

At 2:30 this morning, a teenage girl knocked on the door of a home. She was crying and shaking.

But the tears were fake and the girl was a set up.

What happened next to the woman who answered was awful.

Elizabeth Samuel's eye is bloody, her face is swollen, her head aches all over. She doesn't even know how many times she was hit with a gun.

Her wrists and ankles are covered in bruises from where she was tied up and kept hostage in her own home.

It began with a knock at the front door. Samuel was home alone. She opened the door because a teenage girl was crying and shaking at the front door.

Howard university is just down the street.

"If I did not see the girl, I would have never opened the door," she says.

As the door opened, two masked men pointed their guns at Samuel's head, pushed her to the ground, and duct taped her.

"After they tied me they rolled me over," she says.

It was the longest hour of her life, she says.

"They were smoking; they were watching TV."

And they were stealing laptops and credit cards, demanding money, beating her with the gun, kicking her, even hitting her with a stick.

Then Samuel's husband came home.

Samuel says she was trying to warn her husband, "Don't come in! Don't come in, but my mouth was taped, so I don't know if he can hear me but I wanted him to see me."

When he did, he took the bottle of wine he was holding and struck one of the suspects as he opened the door and started to fight the armed men.

While he was fighting, she crawled outside.

"Crawled on the sidewalk because I couldn't walk."

Her husband scared the gunmen off.

"He saved my life...he saved my life," she says.

Neighbors later said someone had been knocking at their doors too.

Elizabeth Samuel was the one who answered to help a girl.

"How could you not open the door," she says.

D.C. police say this is the first time they've seen criminals using a crying teenage girl as a way to get in.

The girl is described as between 17 and 18, with a ponytail and eyeglasses. One of the men has dreadlocks and very bad facial acne. The other one has short curly hair. Both men are described as in their 20's. All three are African American.