Hollywood stuntmen. Deep sea fishermen. Firefighters. When you think of these careers, you automatically envision danger, but basement waterproofing? Really? Lo and behold, the job can, indeed, be life-threatening . . . at least in some cases. This is one of them . . .
One Spring afternoon, Ameri-Dry contractor Barry Antonelli — the son of Ameri-Dry’s owner — was in the midst of installing a typical basement waterproofing system in the West Baltimore row home of an elderly man when he heard a commotion on the floor above. It started out as yelling, but it began escalating to chairs being knocked over and what sounded like a scuffle. “What the heck is going on up there,” Antonelli thought to himself, so he yelled up the steps. “Is everything OK?” When he got no answer, his concern led him to go check out what was going on. As he made his way up the steps and turned the corner into the kitchen, he was encountered with a scenario he was in no way expecting or prepared for. There he saw the homeowner being forced up the stairs . . . with a gun pointed at his back. Out of pure adrenaline and instinct, Antonelli yelled at the gunman. “Hey, what are you doing, man?” In hindsight, it was perhaps not the best idea, as immediately, the gunman turned his attention – and the gun – onto Antonelli, and began pulling the elderly gentleman by his neck along with him.
With no time to react, Antonelli looked for an escape route. The only one in sight was an open window in the dining room. Lucky for him, it led to a back porch. It’s amazing what a loaded gun can do to a man’s physical acumen; as if he were a trained athlete, Antonelli jumped the porch rail and sprinted to the edge of the yard like he was Carl Lewis in the 1984 Olympic Games. With the gunman now on the deck and still pointing the gun in his direction, Antonelli hightailed it down the alley – still with lightning fast speed — until there was no doubt that he was out of the line of fire and in a safe place to call 911.
Antonelli’s brush with danger wasn’t quite over yet, though. Upon the sound of police sirens, Barry edged closer to the back of the homeowner’s property to make sure the intruder, who had temporarily made his way back inside, couldn’t make his escape. Unfortunately, he tried. When Antonelli saw him jumping out of the same window he had used, he knew he would have to curtail him until the police arrived or he would surely get away. His response included another rendition of Olympic sport: this one, the discus throw. Instead of a disc, though, Antonelli used whatever he could find — trashcan lids, pieces of wood, rocks, etc. – and kept hurling the items at the gunman until the police had arrived and could properly apprehend the suspect.
Fortunately, in spite of the insanity, all ended well. The gunman was arrested, the elderly man was treated on the scene for minor cuts and abrasions, and Antonelli, well, he did what any true basement waterproofing hero would do . . . he returned to the basement to finish with the installation. Ameri-Dry Guy couldn’t have been more proud!
With over 30 years of basement waterproofing experience, Ameri-Dry offers patented, permanently dry systems that are backed by a full lifetime warranty. For more information about Ameri-Dry and Ameri-Dry Guy, visit (www.keepamericadry.com).