An attacker beat and severely injured a 65-year-old man who fought back during a violent home-invasion robbery in a remote area near Lompoc early Saturday, authorities said.
The crime unfolded about 5 a.m. in the Lasalle Canyon Road area, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department said in a written statement.
The resident heard a knock at his door and went to answer, officials said. He looked through the peephole but could not see anyone. The robber told the man he was from the sheriff’s department and needed to speak with him.
“The victim opened the front door and was immediately attacked by the suspect,” according to the statement. “The suspect struck the victim multiple times with a pistol and what the victim described as a ‘night stick.”
Authorities said the victim fought back, but was overwhelmed by the suspect. The robber forced the man into his bedroom and demanded cash and guns, threatening to hurt the victim’s family if he did not comply. The victim turned over the money he had in his pockets.
The robber then bound the victim’s hands behind his back with duct tape and left the room, sheriff’s officials said.
“The victim freed himself from the duct tape, retrieved a baseball bat and struck the suspect when he returned to the bedroom,” the statement said. “The suspect took the bat from the victim and continued to beat him with it before leaving through the front door.”
After managing to drive to a nearby friend’s house for help, the victim was taken to a hospital with “extensive” injuries, which included a fractured skull, sheriff’s officials said.
“This was a brutal attack,” Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Kelly Hoover said.
Despite his serious injuries, the victim was expected to survive, she aid.
The victim was the only person at the home during the crime, Hoover added.
It appeared the suspect only managed to get away with the money from the victim’s pockets.
Deputies described the robber as a Latino man with a light complexion, about 5 feet 10 inches tall and with a heavy build. He wore all dark clothing.
Anyone with information is urged to contact the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office at 805-683-2724, or the Department’s anonymous tip line at 805-681-4171.