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LaPorte man fights off armed robber outside home

by Jeremy Desel / KHOU 11 News

Posted on June 29, 2011 at 7:50 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 29 at 11:18 PM

HOUSTON -- When a masked gunman decided to rob a 70-year-old man in a quiet LaPorte neighborhood, he probably never thought that the senior citizen would get the best of him.

But that's just what happened on Fondren at 6:30 a.m., police said.

“The owner opened his front door and there was a man with a ski mask and gloves on and he was holding a gun. They probably thought it would be a quick burglary and go," said Erica Proell, who has lived on the street for 15 years.

But it wasn’t that easy, police said.

"He ordered our complainant to the ground and he refused, and in fact a struggle ensued. They are rolling around on the ground struggling over the gun. The gun went off," said Assistant LaPorte Police Chief Steve Deardorff.

The bullet hit a vehicle in the garage and the suspect lost his mask at some point in the struggle. The victim was not injured.

"You would never imagine it. He is the sweetest man there ever was, but he is a tough man," said Proell.

Somehow the gunman was able to escape in the victim's car but he didn't get far, and dumped it nearby. A witness there saw the man get into a brown Dodge Dually truck driven by another individual.

LaPorte Police said that they haven't had any similar cases, but they don't believe that this attack was anything but random, despite the fact that the victim lives at the very end of a dead end street.

“I don't know if he was looking for that victim or a victim on that street," Deardorff said.

Proell said she has never heard of anything happening on their quiet street.

"It is scary, especially with little ones, but it happens, and you just have to be alert and aware," Proell said.