MEDFORD TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBS) — It was a terrifying incident for a teenage babysitter who was watching over a young child after a stranger entered a Medford home, armed with a gun. The resident, Darren Elias, is one of the best poker players in the world and was the intended target, but his 2-year-old daughter and 19-year-old babysitter were the victims when an armed man came looking for cash.
Medford Township Police say 24-year-old Shannon Soroka, of Philadelphia, was arrested Friday. Police say a tip from a concerned citizen helped lead to Soroka being taken into custody.
Police say the incident happened Thursday afternoon at Elias’ home on Muirfield Court.
Police say Soroka walked through the front door and demanded the 19-year-old babysitter show him where to find money. The teen and toddler were eventually confined in separate rooms.
The babysitter was then able to escape through a window and got help at a neighbor’s house.
Police say this was not a random crime. They believe Soroka was targeting the homeowner who CBS3 confirms is professional poker player Darren Elias.
Elias declined to comment on the incident, but his sister-in-law spoke outside the home.
“Our family is just so happy that no one got hurt, that everyone is going to be OK and that’s what matters most,” said Sarah Cram.
Cram said the family was also grateful about the babysitter’s actions.
“She’s our hero, we owe her everything and we are so thankful for her,” said Cram.
The babysitter and 2-year-old were not injured.
Soroka has been charged with robbery, burglary, aggravated assault, and other related charges. He is being held at Burlington County Jail.