Man, 92, outsmarts would-be robber

November 21, 2008 8:52:23 PM PST
An elderly man's actions saved him from being a crime victim. The 92-year-old man already had a robber in his home, but what he inadvertently did next caused the intruder to run away. [SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

"I was by myself," Santiago Garza told us. "I'm 92 and I have just one eye."

It was mid morning Thursday when Garza was confronted in the living room of his north Houston home by a man who crawled in an unlocked window and demanded money.

"He said, 'Gimme anything you got in there. You must have something in your pockets or something'," said Garza.

Garza says the intruder had a piece of rebar in his hand and looked like he might use it.

"I was gonna fight him," said Garza. "One way or the other."

Though Garza might look like a frail elderly man, he is a product of his years. He served 13 years in the U.S. Army. Though that was in the 1940s, to this day, he remembers his hand to hand combat training well.

"If I was gonna be really close to him, I was gonna kick him real hard," said Garza. "I learned a lot of tricks. I learned how to defend myself. I learned how to trick somebody."

Garza decided first to yell for help even though he was home alone.

"I hollered real loud," he said. "'John John, John, come here'."

His split second plan worked. The intruder fled out the same window he entered. John Rittman, the man Garza was yelling for commends Garza for his quick thinking in a time of crisis.

"He's a smart guy," said Rittamn. "That's what it took to get him to leave the house. So good work!"

Houston police are investigating the break-in. Garza says he plans to add bars to the windows of his home.

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