Thursday, March 06, 2008

Hammer Attack

Choose your roommates carefully

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Eight hours after being beaten in the head with a hammer, a 74-year-old Jacksonville man awakened and called 911 for help, police said.

Thomas Lewis remained in the hospital Wednesday, two days after the attack. Authorities said they've arrested the man's roommate, Willie Robinson, and charged him with the hammer attack.

Investigators said Robinson rented a room from Lewis in a Durkeeville home, but on Monday night they said he attacked Lewis, stole his wallet and locked him in his bedroom using a padlock to secure the door.

"He hit him repeatedly to the point he blacked out. He could've killed him," said Jacksonville Sheriff's Office spokesman Ken Jefferson.Police said Lewis blacked out for eight hours, and when he awoke he was able to call for help:

Dispatch:
911.

Victim:
Ma'am.

Dispatch:
Yes.

Victim:
Send rescue to West 3rd Street.

Dispatch:
Are you safe?

Victim:
Yes Ma'am.

Dispatch:
All right, hang on.

Dispatch:
We have a Thomas Lewis. He called us this morning to advise that he was awakened from bed last night and was hit upside the head with a hammer when he opened the door.

Neighbors in the close-knit community where the men live said they are devastated. They said Lewis has lived in their neighborhood for 50 years.

"I heard the rescue. I came outside and saw them take Mr. Lewis," said neighbor Maxine Mathews. "Everybody's really sad about it. I've been upset about it, you know.

"Robinson is being held without bond in the Duval County Jail. (Source.)

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