Blind man in Beechview uses kitchen pot to ward off attackers

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Two men posing as gas company workers robbed a blind, 71-year-old man in his Beechview home early today before the man fought them off with a kitchen pot, Pittsburgh police said.

The man was taken to UPMC Mercy for treatment of injuries he suffered in the attack, which occurred about 6:45 a.m. at his home in the 1500 block of Rutherford Avenue.

The man had just returned home from walking his dog when the assailants, wearing yellow and orange safety vests and hats, knocked on his door and told him they were going through the neighborhood shutting off gas meters. The man led them to his gas meter in the basement, where they assaulted him.

Police said one of the men stuck a gun in his mouth while the other yelled, "Shoot him, shoot him." The man knocked the gun away and felt the shock of a stun gun several times.

The men tried to restrain the victim, hitting him in the head with the gun.

The homeowner tried to escape to his kitchen and was hit over the head with a picture that had been hanging on the wall. Once upstairs, the man grabbed a kitchen pot and fought his attackers, yelling, "John, call the police," to make them believe someone else was home. The phony gas workers then fled, leaving behind a bloody scene.

Robbery detectives urged residents to check the identification of utility workers before allowing them into their homes.

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Sadie Gurman: sgurman@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1878.


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