SAN DIEGO - An elderly man was hospitalized Wednesday after he was hit with a crowbar inside his own home in a home-invasion robbery that turned violent.
A witness made an emergency call shortly before 2 p.m. from a pay phone in La Mesa to report having seen two men using a crowbar to break into a home on Harwell Drive in eastern San Diego minutes earlier, SDPD public-affairs Lt. Andra Brown said. The incident was initially reported as a burglary in progress.
An officer arrived in the neighborhood to see two men running away from the home, Brown said. The officer, who had a service dog with him, caught up with the suspects a short distance away and took them into custody with help from a man who lives in the area.
"When we came out, we saw the police dog and two individuals down on the ground," said neighbor Frank Courter, a friend of the victim.
At about the same time, the victim, who was believed to be about 80 years old, contacted police to report having been robbed and beaten with a tire iron or similar metal tool by a pair of intruders in his home.
"I'm shook up because I was just with him," said neighbor Janet Courter.
She told 10News that she had just finished visiting the victim. They were talking about putting up his Christmas lights next week. Minutes after she left his home, he was attacked.
"If I would have stayed longer, I would have been in the house with him," she said.
Neighbors said the victim's wife passed away earlier this month. Janet Courter reported hearing that the burglars made this terrifying threat.
"They said, 'Don't call the cops because you'll join your wife'… that's what we were told. We don't know who said it," she added.
Neighbors also say the victim's home was burglarized a few weeks ago when no one was home, but they never expected this.
The victim was taken to Sharp Memorial Hospital to be treated. He suffered injuries to his head and to his arms while he was trying to protect himself.
10News learned that he was able to identify his attackers to police before he was taken away in an ambulance.