INDIANAPOLIS - An Indianapolis neighborhood is wondering just how safe it is this weekend after a man was robbed and beaten with a hammer during a break-in at his mother's house Saturday morning.
The 21-year-old victim told police he'd been helping his mother move into her home on the 3500 block of Eisenhower Drive on the northwest side, and had decided to stay there for the night.
At around 2 a.m., the victim told police he woke up to find someone in the house. The man said he struggled with the intruder, who began attacking him with a hammer.
The victim was struck in the head several times, and said he may have lost consciousness. Police observed multiple injuries over his face and head. Two teeth were also knocked out during the struggle.
Neighbors Amber and Dustin, who preferred not to have their last names published, found the battered victim had crawled to their doorstep. They let him in and called 911.
"He had a big, big knot on his head and he had a big gash on the side of his head because he said the guy had hit him with a hammer multiple times," Dustin said.
The couple, both former Army medics, said this was something new for them.
"I'm pretty rattled," Dustin said. "I stayed up all night after that just thinking about how scared he was, and that's what broke my heart more than anything."
Dustin and Amber were themselves the victim of a robbery last month. They got a dog, Painter, to help protect their family. It was Painter's barking who alerted them that something was amiss.
"If it wasn't for the dog we wouldn't have even heard the door, so I would say the dog probably saved a guy," Amber said.
Because the house had been empty for month's prior to the victim's mother moving in, Dustin said someone must have been casing the house.
"It's almost like they're watching," he said. "Somebody had to be watching because that house was empty for two months and somebody had to have known that somebody was there."
Police said the suspect stole the victim's cellphone, approximately $5 in cash and the hammer used in the attack. The rear door of the residence had also been kicked in, destroying the doorframe.
The victim was taken to Methodist Hospital, where doctors said he was in fair condition after surgery.
So far, police have not yet released a description of a possible suspect. Anyone with information about the case is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS.