Man fends off intruder who came in through doggy door

MACEDON, New York -- Levi Thompson, 21, says he was brutally attacked in his own home by a suspect who came in through a doggy door.

On Wednesday, Thompson awoke from a sound sleep to find someone taking items from his room including his pocket knife.

Thompson says the suspect threatened him with a pocket knife he was trying to steal - before picking up a much larger and heavier weapon.

"I didn't want him to hurt my family. I was going to stand my ground," said Thompson.

Thompson says he went after the man inside his home - someone he knew and once called a friend.

According to WHAM, Thompson suffered a skull fracture and bleeding on the brain, but was able to identify the alleged assailant.
Cooper Herrmann, 19, is charged with two counts of burglary and one count of assault.

"I'm like, 'I'd feel a lot safer if you empty your pockets' - then he flipped out that knife and put it tight to my neck," he said, while demonstrating with his thumb as the knife.

His one arm pinned, Thompson said he did the only thing he could think of: Punch out with his free hand.

"I just punched him and he fell right back," he described.

He said that's when Herrmann reached out for something to strike back. The police report describes it as a decorative wooden plant stand.

Thompson held up the twin plant stand that remains at his home.

"This is what he used. He hit me over the head three times," he said. "I felt a bunch of gashes in my head, and I was bleeding everywhere."

Herrmann has been in the home before. He knew of the pets there and of the unlatched doggy door leading to the fenced-in backyard.

"That is very unusual, and we were very surprised because of the size of the dog door," said Sgt. MacNeal. "But the alleged suspect was very skinny and had no problem maneuvering his body through the door."

Police caution residents to secure pet entry doors meant for larger dogs. Thompson said his family has done just that.

"I was just sitting there with blood gushing out of my head, and he ran as fast as he could and dolphin-dived right out the dog door," he said.

Police caught Herrmann at an unrelated traffic stop.