Elderly couple stabbed at NW Harris Co. home

June 21, 2012 7:03:06 PM PDT
An elderly man who had just returned home from the grocery store is now in critical condition after he and his wife were attacked by a man with a knife.

The attack happened inside the couple's garage near the intersection of Walters and Brimwood in northwest Harris County.

Linda Riley told us she is afraid to return home. For now, she's staying with her sister. She never thought something like this would happen to her.

She and her husband, Van Riley, returned from shopping Wednesday night just after 9 o'clock to their home on Walters. As he parked the car, she says she went inside.

"I never thinking I'd been in this situation," Linda told us through tears.

That situation was an attack by a man with a knife at her back door. Before she knew what was happening, she says she was struggling with him. He cut her hand, but fled. She looked outside and found her husband severely wounded.

"I saw at the back door, my husband bleeding," Linda said. "I was thinking, well, he was fighting with that guy. He got cut, cut, cut, cut all over his head."

She says the attacker at some point stole her purse along with her phone. Her wounded husband had to give her his phone to call 911. Van Riley, 70, was rushed to the hospital. The Harris County Sheriff's Office says the attacker fled on foot. Neighbors call the violence upsetting.

"It's scary. I live right next door. You can't even unpack your groceries without worrying about what's behind you," said neighbor Tim Ferrel.

"I have no idea. I have no idea. About 30 years, I've lived across this street," said the victims' brother-in-law, Bile Tan.

"About 8:30, I was standing out there with my cousin and 30 minutes later, I saw all the police," said neighbor Wendell Cameron.

He was just a few doors down from where the Rileys were stabbed. He says he didn't hear or see anything out of the ordinary.

"It's just strange, in this neighborhood, it's quiet. Very quiet. Very nice neighborhood," Cameron said.

"It's sad that someone would be so mean like that, prey on the elderly. They're very vulnerable," said Ferrel.

Another neighbor said, "We're kind of praying for him because we hate to see that happen to anyone, especially a neighbor. So we're all really praying for him right now."

Linda has no idea why someone would want to harm her or her husband. She says they were both recently retired from the Navy, and just moved here seven months ago. They don't carry a lot of cash or valuables.

"They stabbed my husband. I don't know why," Linda said.

She hopes the attacker didn't steal something much more valuable. Her husband's life.

Van Riley remains in critical condition at Ben Taub Hospital.

Detectives say they have little information on the suspect at this time.

"At this time, the only thing we have is that it's a black male. It's the only description we have at this point," said Sgt. Greg Pinkins with the Harris County Sheriff's Office. "We're still trying to locate possible witnesses that may have seen something."

According to the couple's neighbors, they just moved into this home about six months ago and were in the process of remodeling. Detectives say they're looking into who was in the home recently doing work. They believe there could be some connection there.

At this point, authorities believe the motive was robbery.

Detectives have only a vague description of the attacker. If you have any information which can help them, you are asked to call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

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