Elderly couple attacked in driveway

May 27, 2009 7:52:09 AM PDT
Neighbors banded together to find a trio of men who robbed and assaulted an elderly couple late Monday night. The elderly couple had just returned to their home on Norfolk near Dunlavy after picking up a pizza when the attack happened. Ralph and Louise Mills were both taken to the hospital after the attack. Louise is still there, nursing a broken hip. Thanks to their neighbors, police are now interviewing three people.

"What alerted me is that Louise was screaming at the top of her lungs," said neighbor Craig Minor. "I could hear her and at first I did not even realize what it was and who it was. I was trying to piece it together. Then I saw to large gentlemen running down the drive clearly up to no good."

Minor got the best description and license plate number he could in the dark.

"I can't believe somebody would do something like that to elderly people," said Moustapha El-Hakam, who serves as President of the Richwood Place Civic Association.

El-Hakam sent an email to the neighborhood with the suspects and car description.

Police say two masked men approached the Mills in their driveway Monday night just before 10pm. The suspects knocked Louise down, injuring her, before grabbing the pizza in her hands. Her husband tried to fight off the suspects, but they stole his wallet and cell phone and jumped into the getaway car.

"We're just not accustomed to this. It's unfortunate that it happened to such a great couple," said neighbor Cliff Helmcamp. "I guess they were easy targets because Mr. Mills is on a walker most of the time."

Tuesday afternoon, a homeowner spotted a car and three suspects who matched the description.

"They called us and we responded quickly and we were able to apprehend them without incident," said Officer A. Day with the Houston Police Department.

And while Ralph Mills sits by his wife's bedside at the hospital, their good neighbors hope justice is well on its way.

"I can't believe it happened this quickly, that we found them," said Minor. "I'm really hoping these are the three folks who committed the crime."

Robbery detectives spent the evening interviewing the three men. They have not been charged yet in connection to the Norfolk Street assault but police say they will face drug charges. Investigators say they are also considering the possibility the trio could be linked to additional robberies in the area.

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