DETROIT (WXYZ) - A Vietnam veteran and his wife were the victims of a home invasion on the 3900 block of Porter Street in southwest Detroit Monday.
Around 8:30 a.m. two suspects knocked on Robert Rodriguez's door saying they left a cell phone battery inside. Rodriguez says he knew the suspects because they did odd jobs for the couple around their home.
When Rodriguez answered the door, he says the men barged through the screen door and went down into the basement where they grabbed a sledge hammer and demanded money.
He remembers one of the men holding a knife from his kitchen.
“I don’t think anything about it,” say Rodriguez. “It’s what punks do. It’s what thugs do. It doesn’t surprise me. There’s no surprise there. They gain your trust, your friendliness…”
After punching Rodriguez several times, the men went upstairs where Rodriguez's wife was.
Rodriguez told 7 Action News he snuck out a back door, raced down and around an alley, and started banging loudly on his neighbors door for help.
“Called 9-1-1, gave a brief description,” says an unidentified neighbor. “Police were here within less than five minutes. They came but by the time police arrived the people had already escaped through the back door with a few belongings.” Rodriguez's wife was not harmed but the suspects escaped.The robbers took off with the couple’s tv, laptop, and cell phones.
“My mother is 88 years old and she’s dying by inches,” said Rodriguez’s wife Katie Watson. “I begged them not to take my phone so I could contact my family to see how my mother is and they took it.”
Rodriguez suffered a dislocated arm.
The couple believe they were targeted because the suspects knew where specific items were placed in their home.
Rodriguez suspects after doing some work inside their place for weeks, the attackers knew where he had put his sledgehammer and where their kitchen knives were stashed.
He says the robbers were also aware of where the stolen items were in the home before the incident.
Police are looking for the two young men responsible.
Rodriguez says the incident won't scare him away and he plans to take back his neighborhood.
“I want them to know we’re not laying back,” said Rodriguez. “This is our neighborhood not your neighborhood and that’s the way tomorrow, and the next week, and the week after that… get out of our neighborhood.”
“They took my faith in humanity away,” said Watson. “We were nothing but nice to them and they did this. I mean, come on.”
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