HOUSTON - A group of young boys may be linked to more than two dozen attacks on Houstonians, including a 76-year-old grandpa who loves to play Santa Claus.
An 11 and 12-year-old were arrested Saturday and a 14-year-old was arrested Monday.
Deputies arrested a fourth suspect Wednesday in the string of attacks in the Westbury area.
The boys are charged with attacking an elderly man near his home earlier this month.
Ray Johnson, 76, was out for his evening walk when the suspects ambushed him near his home.
"It was horrible, because it's very difficult to face a pistol staring straight in your eyes like that," Johnson told us.
The boys kept yelling "Give me the money, give me the money," Johnson said.
Then they grabbed his walking stick and beat him with it.
"And someone in the background was going, 'Hit him with the stick, hit with the stick, hit him with the stick,'" Johnson told us.
Johnson told them he didn't have money to give. After another beating, he screamed for help and the boys ran off.
Johnson joined Pct. 5 deputies during a press conference Tuesday and got choked up as he described the events of the attack.
"I prayed for those kids that night," he said. "There is hope for them. They just need guidance and a little love."
Johnson, who enjoys playing Santa Claus during the holidays, walked away from the the attack with a few bruises and a laceration to the head.
After the attack, the suspects went to a convenience store on the 12500 block of Hillcroft. The store was able to provide deputies with surveillance of the kids.
Officials say these group of kids could be responsible for 26 criminal cases in southwest Houston that date back to May 2018. Those crimes are aggravated robberies, carjackings and thefts.
"When asked what was their reasoning behind these brutal attacks, what was the reasoning to doing what they were doing, their answer was, I quote, 'We did it for kicks,'" said Precinct 5 Constable Ted Heap.
All the crimes happened in the Westbury neighborhood in a one-mile radius. The boys all live in the area and nearby schools helped police identify them.
Officials said the suspects in custody are "very scared," but they are cooperating. Deputies said the kids attended school and they don't believe these crimes are gang-affiliated.
Johnson, who has six grandchildren, says he forgives the kids who hurt him.
"I just want to get them off the streets and get them doing something constructive."